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Income inequality in the EU

26/04/2018

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Data from 2016 show wide inequalities in the distribution of income. In the EU, the top 20% of the population (with the highest income) received 5.2 times as much income as the bottom 20%.

This ratio varied considerably across the Member States, from 3.5 in the Czech Republic and 3.6 in Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland, to 6.0 or more in Bulgaria (8.2), Lithuania (7.1), Romania (7.0 in 2017), Spain and Greece (both 6.6), Latvia and Italy (both 6.3).

 

Income inequality 2016

                                 Source dataset is available here

 

Compared to 2008, Latvia registered the largest decrease in the income inequality ratio (from 7.3 in 2008 to 6.3 in 2017, a decrease of 1), followed by the United Kingdom (-0.5), Belgium and Poland (both -0.3).

The largest increase was in Bulgaria (from 6.5 in 2008 to 8.2 in 2017, or +1.7), Italy (+1.1), Spain and Lithuania (both +1.0).

 

The quintile share ratio is the proportion of the total equivalised disposable income received by the 20% of the population with the highest income (top quintile) to that received by the 20% of the population with the lowest income (lowest quintile).

 

The income inequality (quintile share ratio) is one of the Social Scoreboard indicators, which supports the European Pillar of Social Rights.

 

More information

Eurostat website section on the European Pillar of Social Rights

Social scoreboard of indicators

Statistics Explained article on material living conditions

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