Income inequality

Why is this important for social statistics?

The level of income inequality is often seen as a measure of the fairness of the society we live in. A high level of inequality may also mean the population is less socially connected as a whole.

This indicator measures inequality between high-income and low-income households, after adjusting for household size and composition.

How this indicator was calculated

The measure used for the New Zealand data is the P80/20 ratio, which shows the difference between high household incomes (those in the 80th percentile) and low household incomes (those in the 20th percentile).

Calculating income inequality is complex, and needs further explanation. The Ministry of Social Development explain their method in their Household Incomes in New Zealand reports.

See Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2015

Downloadable file:

Excel icon. Income inequality – tables (Excel, 3 sheets, 24kb)

Includes breakdowns by year, and OECD country.

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