Bruegel datasets

Global and regional Gini coefficients

Last update: 02 July 2019


This database includes updated global and regional Gini coefficient estimates from the paper:

Darvas, Zsolt (2019), ‘Global interpersonal income inequality decline: the role of China and India’, World Development 121, 16-32.

An earlier version of this work has been published as:

Darvas, Zsolt (2016) ‘Some are more equal than others: new estimates of global and regional inequality’, Working Paper 2016/08, Bruegel, 7 November 2016

Indicators of income distribution, such as quantile income shares and the Gini coefficient, are available for individual countries, but from official statistical sources they are not available for the world as a whole or for various country groups.

This dataset includes annual data from 1988-2015 (or 1980-2016 for EU countries) on global and regional Gini coefficient estimates, using various methodologies, for the following country groups:

  • 145 countries
  • 37 Advanced countries
  • 108 Emerging and developing countries
  • 13 Non-EU advanced countries
  • 17 Emerging and developing Asian countries and ASEAN-5
  • 32 Sub-Saharan African countries
  • 12 Commonwealth of Independent States countries
  • 28 European Union countries
  • 27 European Union countries (not including Croatia)
  • 15 European Union countries (members before 2004)
  • 13 European Union countries (members joined in 2004-13)
  • 24 Latin American  and the Caribbean countries
  • 12 Middle East and North African countries

The dataset also includes the deconstruction of the change in global and regional Gini coefficients of net income inequality into three main components: (1) within-country inequality, (2) differences in mean incomes (between-country inequality), and (3) relative population size.