How is Inequality Measured?The Gini Coefficient is a popular measure of income inequality, with values ranging from 0 to 1. A value of 0 represents perfect equality, while 1 signifies maximum inequality. This statistic helps economists and policymakers examine wealth distribution within a country, offering insights into economic development and societal issues. In this page, we'll explore the Gini Coefficient by comparing income inequality in the United Kingdom and Malawi.
The Gini Coefficient is calculated using the Lorenz curve, a graphical representation of income distribution within a population. The Lorenz curve plots the cumulative share of income received by a cumulative percentage of the population, with perfect equality depicted as a straight diagonal line (the line of equality). The Gini Coefficient is the ratio of the area between the Lorenz curve and the line of equality to the total area below the line of equality [Visualise a curve that bows below the diagonal line, representing the actual income distribution. The Gini Coefficient measures the gap between the curve and the diagonal line]. Income Inequality in The UKThe United Kingdom, a highincome country, has experienced relatively high levels of income inequality in recent decades. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK's Gini Coefficient was 0.36 in 2020. This figure indicates a considerable income disparity, with wealth concentrated amongst a small percentage of the population. Factors contributing to the UK's income inequality include globalisation, technological advancements, and changes in tax and welfare policies.


Income Inequality in a Developing Country (Malawi)
Malawi, a lowincome country in southeastern Africa, also faces significant income inequality. As of 2020, Malawi's Gini Coefficient was 0.44, reflecting an even higher degree of income disparity than in the UK. The country's high level of income inequality is due to factors such as limited access to education, ruralurban income disparities, and a lack of economic diversification.
When comparing the Gini Coefficients of the UK and Malawi, it's evident that income inequality is a pressing issue in both countries, albeit to varying extents. Policymakers in both nations must address the underlying factors contributing to income disparities in order to promote more equitable economic growth and development. Understanding the Gini Coefficient and its realworld implications is an essential skill for ALevel Economics students, providing valuable context for discussions of income distribution and economic policies.
When comparing the Gini Coefficients of the UK and Malawi, it's evident that income inequality is a pressing issue in both countries, albeit to varying extents. Policymakers in both nations must address the underlying factors contributing to income disparities in order to promote more equitable economic growth and development. Understanding the Gini Coefficient and its realworld implications is an essential skill for ALevel Economics students, providing valuable context for discussions of income distribution and economic policies.