The United States has the lowest percentage of residents considered middle-class, the largest difference in P90/P10, and is ranked last in child income poverty, income inequality after taxes, and index of health and social problems.
|Green||Ranked first for statistic|
|Red||Ranked last for statistic|
|GINI Index||Year||Poverty rate with poverty line at 50%||P90/P10||Percent of population below poverty line||Year||Income Inequality: Quintile Index|
“Gini index measures the extent to which the distribution of income (or, in some cases, consumption expenditure) among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Lorenz curve plots the cumulative percentages of total income received against the cumulative number of recipients, starting with the poorest individual or household. The Gini index measures the area between the Lorenz curve and a hypothetical line of absolute equality, expressed as a percentage of the maximum area under the line.”
“Data are based on primary household survey data obtained from government statistical agencies and World Bank country departments.”
Gini index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality.
OECD: Social Protection and Well-being > Income Distribution and Poverty
Poverty rate after taxes and transfers (using new 2012 income definition). All data from 2019 and 2020 except for Italy and Japan (2018).
Social Protection and Well-being > Income Distribution and Poverty
The P90/P10 ratio is the ratio of the upper bound value of the ninth decile (i.e. the 10% of people with highest income) to that of the upper bound value of the first decile. All data from 2019-2020 except Italy, Japan (2018).
*Definitions of poverty vary among nations, poverty line is drawn differently for each country.
The quintile ratio compares the average income of the top 20% with the bottom 20%, a smaller number indicates a small difference between the two. For 2019-2020 except Italy, Japan (2018).
Updated June 13, 2022
Congressional Research Service
Tami Luhby, April 11, 2019
CNN Business. The middle-class is not just shrinking in the U.S. but also in other developed countries, according to a report by the OECD. Millennials are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve middle-class status compared to previous generations.
“The share of people in middle-income households in developed countries fell from 64% in the mid-1980s to only 61% by the mid-2010s. However the declines were larger in several countries, including the United States, Israel, Germany, Canada, Finland and Sweden.”
Page updated 11/19/2022.