Countries with the lowest income inequality

Income inequality, which refers to how uneven income is distributed among a population, is no small problem today: The United Nations says 71% of people across the globe live in countries where this kind of inequality has risen. Still, some societies have become more equal than others, and to demonstrate this, Stacker used data from the World Inequality Database to compile a list of 30 countries with the lowest income inequality.

To help put the share of pre-tax income earned by the top 1% and bottom 50% in perspective, we considered “perfect income equality,” in which every individual adult would earn the same income. In a country with perfect income equality, for example, the top 1% would earn exactly 1% of all income, and the bottom 50% would earn exactly 50% of all income.

While many nations are getting closer to perfect income equality, none have achieved this yet. The United States, for instance, has a long way to go: It’s the 52nd country with the most income inequality in the world based on this ranking. Even when income distribution appears relatively even, inequities of opportunity still abound and can ultimately impact economic circumstances in personal and collective ways.

Read on to see which countries have more equal societies, the factors that contribute to that outcome, and some of the disparities that still exist.

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