Latin America: 3 Best and 3 Worst for Income Equality

3 Most and 3 Least Unequal Incomes

For Latin America, there are several red flags in the World Inequality Database report for 2022. Covid has brought financial disparities into focus, many people have lost their jobs although the wealthiest have profited during the pandemic. Nations that we think of as prosperous like Mexico, Brazil and Chile are in the top twenty for most unequal income distribution in the world! Countries like Iceland and Norway ranked as the least divergent in the lowest 50% compared with the top 1% of incomes. The USA ranks quite closely to Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay, with huge 25% of national income differences between the 10% richest and the poorest 50%. Cuba and Venezuela did not provide enough information to be ranked.

3 máximos y 3 mínimos en cuanto a los desiguales de ingresos

Para América Latina, hay varios señales de alarma en el reporte de La base de datos de desigualdad mundial de 2022. Covid subraya las desigualdades financieras, muchas personas perdieron su empleo aunque subieron las ganancias de las más ricas durante la pandemia. Naciones que suponemos que sean prósperas como México, Brasil y Chile están dentro de los veinte con major desigualdad de ingresos personales. Países como Islandia y Noruega son los menos divergentes entre las 50% personas con ingresos más bajos comparado con los 1% más altos. Los Estados Unidos está cerca del mismo rango con Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay, con 25% de ingreso nacional entre los 10% que ganan más con los 50% que ganan menos. Cuba y Venezuela no ofrecieron la información suficiente para calcular un rango para ellos.

Mapa de las Américas Map: Jorge

The chart below tracks the percentage of national income for the lowest waged 50% of workers, compared with the highest 10% wage earners and the top 1%. Equality shows up on the graph when the gap between the lowest 50% and highest 10% are closer together. Both Ecuador and Uruguay are less unequal than the United States. In Latin America, the countries with the most income inequality are Mexico, Brazil and Chile. That shows an underlying problem that caused the Chilean protests in 2019. These three countries are considered success stories financially, but the wealth is not distributed equally, with the top 10% earners making 45% more than the 50% of people with the lowest income. In contrast for the best 2, for Ecuador and Uruguay, differences between the lowest 50% wages and the top 10% are about 20%. That number is about 35% for number three Paraguay and 32% for the United States that ranks between Ecuador and Paraguay in its income equality.

Income Inequality in Latin America+ Chart: R. Cuningham

El gráfico elabora el porcentaje de ingreso nacional para los 50% de trabajadores con los sueldos más bajos, comparado con los 10% y los 1% con los sueldos más altos. En el gráfico se ve igualdad donde los intervalos de los puntos para los 50% de trabajadores con ingresos bajos y los 10% con los máximos están más cercanas. Vemos que Ecuador y Uruguay son menos desiguales que los Estados Unidos. En América Latina, los países con la major taza de desigualdad son México, Brasil y Chile. Demuestra un problema fundamental que en parte causó las protestas chilenas de 2019. Estos tres países se consideran como exitosos en cuanto a su salud financiera, pero la riqueza no está distribuida de forma igualitaria, con los más ricos 10% ganando 45% más que los 50% de la gente con los ingresos más bajos. En contraste, para las dos mejores dos, para Ecuador y Uruguay, las diferencias entre los 50% ingresos más bajos y los 10% más altos se diferencia un 20%. Este número es sobre 35% para Paraguay, el número tres y 32% para los Estados Unidos que tiene su rango entre Ecuador y Paraguay para la igualdad de ingresos.

Next Tuesday, we’ll look at the factors that create better income equality.

How does your country rate for income equality? Check this link or this for its rank.

El próximo martes, veremos los factores que crean mejor igualdad de ingresos.

¿Cómo está la igualdad de ingresos en tu país? Mira el gráfico en este enlace, o este para su rango.

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Cincuenta (50) Centavos Mexicanos Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Rebecca Cuningham

26 thoughts on “Latin America: 3 Best and 3 Worst for Income Equality

  1. An impactful blog. More such blogs are needed. This is very educative. I would also like to know what are the solutions to this??
    Clearly government interference is much needed, more opportunities and more ideas

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I really thank you for such content. I’m following lots of poet. They always share poem. I like how you talk about so many diverse topics. These topics are necessary and these increases knowledge overall.
        Keep smiling and have a peaceful time ahead

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am delighted that you like my blog format. I was trained as a Latin Americanist as well as in literature, so I enjoy delving into topics concerning archeology, history, politics and culture. So many fascinating things to discover!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very informative data, Rebecca. Given what’s been going on even in the past couple of years, I’m not surprised to find that the US has quite an income inequality among its people (we have some of the ultra-rich to thank, and sarcastically so…). In any case, the income inequality among the countries in Latin America aren’t looking so well, and it’s necessary to do something about this in the world (maybe we can learn a thing or two from countries like Iceland and Norway, as you mentioned). Can’t wait to see what solutions you offer in your next post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your detailed comments, Rebecca. In the past 20 years it has been troubling to see good US factory jobs go abroad, diminishing the number of middle class people. Next week, I look forward to discussing the Oxfam organizations’ four pillars to increase income equality. I’ll present what I find about Iceland and Norway’s national policies as well.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your strong reaction, Carolyn. I found the economic results alarming as well. From the looks of it, in the last 40 years the US middle class has eroded, since jobs went overseas. How we will find the unity to make needed changes and bring back more equality is the next question.


  3. Mexico and latin America in general have bad Gini coefficients. (As do the US). And I haven’t seen a positive evolution in the past 30 years. Norway is probably world champion as far as the GINI coefficient goes…


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