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Which Country Has the Highest Income Gap?

Of Western industrialized nations, the income gap between the rich and the poor is the greatest in the United States. In fact, the income gap in the U.S. is comparable to that of economically underdeveloped nations such as Cambodia, Ghana and Georgia. The top 20% of earners in the U.S. receive about half of the income generated in the country, and those below the poverty line only get about 3%. This finding is particularly sobering because the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line is the highest it's been since 1975.

More on income inequality:

  • The countries with the highest income gaps are Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana. In fact, the top six countries in terms of income inequality are African. The non-African country with the highest income gap is Bolivia, followed by Haiti.

  • Countries with low income gaps tend to be the Scandinavian nations — Denmark, Sweden and Norway are all in the top five, along with Japan and the Czech Republic.

  • The United Nations has reported that 10% of the richest adults in the world hold 85% of its resources, and half of that is owned by the richest 1%.

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