To understand the full ramifications of poverty in a certain country is not enough to know that country’s per capita income. How equally—or unequally—income is distributed determines number of poor people in a country and the average quality of life in that country.
Measures how much the distribution of wealth or income deviates from a condition of equality.
The larger the curve is the more unequal the distribution of income or wealth is.
The curve is determined dividing the population into 5 groups from poorest 20% to wealthiest 20% and determining how much of the gross national product each group receives
Devised by the Italian sociologist Corrado Gini
Numerical indicator of the degree of inequality
A large Gini Index number indicates a great degree of inequality in income and wealth.
Gives a numerical value to the distance between the straight diagonal of perfect equality and the curve of inequality in a certain population
Finding Income Distribution & Gini Index Statistics
The World Bank calculates income distribution figures and the Gini Index for each country.
These statistics are most easy accessible, however, through the USAID website.
Income Distribution The different between the rich and the poor is much greater in Brazil than in Nicaragua. % of Gross Domestic Product ( GDP )
Gini Index Numbers Perfect Equality
Gini Index: Income Inequality
Poverty Statistics from the Population Data Sheet /Population Reference Bureau Although Nicaragua has a more equitable distribution of wealth than Brazil, it is a much poorer country with 80% of its population living on less than $2 per day.
Population Growth Although Brazil has a much greater population, Nicaragua’s population is growing at a much faster rate and will nearly double by the year 2050. Statistics from the Population Data Sheet /Population Reference Bureau.
Literacy Rates In both Brazil and Nicaragua more than ¾ of adults can read and write. Brazil has a sight advantage: 88% literacy rate to Nicaragua’s 76%. Statistics from USAID
Health Care Although Nicaragua and Brazil spent the exact same percent of their gross national product on healthcare, Brazil has more than double the number of hospital beds and nearly triple the number of physicians for every 1000 people. Statistics from USAID
“ Lorenz curve". The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology (2000). Retrieved 13 February 2006, from xreferplus. http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/724034
Population Data Sheet /Population Reference Bureau http ://www.prb.org/Template.cfm?Section=PRB&template=/Content/ContentGroups/Datasheets/2005_World_Population_Data_Sheet.htm
USAID Development Statistics for Latin America and Caribbean http://qesdb.cdie.org/lac/index.html
World Bank: Latin American and Caribbean http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/LACEXT/0,,menuPK:258559%7EpagePK:158889%7EpiPK:146815%7EtheSitePK:258554,00.html
World Bank: Beyond Economic Growth: An Introduction to Sustainable Development http://www.worldbank.org/depweb/english/beyond/global/