Income Inequality in Asia

The Asian average Gini coefficient at the end of the 2000’s is equal to 0.37. China is one of the most unequal countries, with a Gini coefficient of 0.43.

Income inequalities in Asia are high : the Asian average Gini coefficient at the end of 2000’s is equal to 0.37, according to Asian Bank Development. China is one of the most unequal countries, with a Gini coefficient of 0.43 in 2008. The richest 20% earn in better cases 9.6 times more than the poorest 20%. In India the Gini coefficient is equal to 0.37 and the interquintile ratio to 5.7.

China is one of the countries where inequalities have increased the most during the last years : in 1990 the Gini coefficient was equal to 0.32 and the interquintile ratio to 5.1. Such a level of inequality was equivalent to the level observed in India, where inequalities had increased less : in 1993, the Gini coefficient was at 0.32 and the richest 20% earned 4.8 times more than the poorest 20%. Like in most of the countries where we can observe an increase of inequalities, such an evolution reflects a stronger enrichment of the richest.

Levels of inequalities are different between towns and the countryside. In India, like in the majority of Asian countries, inequalities are higher in towns (the Gini coefficient is of 0.39) than in the countryside (0.30). On the opposite, inequalities are higher in the country than in towns in China (respectively 0.39 against 0.35 in 2008), but inequalities increased more in towns since 1990 (0.26 in towns against 0.31 in the countryside).

Please click below to read the full report "Asian Development Outlook 2012, Confronting Rising Inequality in Asia", Asian Development Bank, 2012.

Confronting Rising Inequality in Asia

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25 juin 2012

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