Skip navigation
No more
Know more

The U.S. is the most unequal country in the developed world. And it’s the government’s fault.

The U.S. is the most unequal country in the developed world. And it’s the government’s fault.

Everyone knows that the U.S. has high income inequality relative to other rich countries. But what you may not know, and which the above chart by the Luxembourg Income Study’s Janet Gornick makes clear, is that this isn’t the case before you take taxes and government transfers like Social Security into account. If you just look at peoples’ pre-tax/transfer income (also known as their “market” income), the U.K., Germany, and Finland are less equal than the U.S., and the U.S. ties Norway, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sweden. We’re well within the developed world norm. But other countries have adopted policies that reduce inequality far more than the policies that the U.S. has embraced do.

Click “Know More” to read John Cassidy on more surprising findings about the nature and extent of income inequality in America.

Dylan Matthews | November 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm
Know more: American inequality in six charts
No more
Know more
A dizzying map of North America drawn in eight projections at once
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Each dot on this map represents an act of terrorism since 1970
Alexander Becker
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Alexander Becker
No more
Know more
When will the hottest day of the year be? It depends where you live
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Fabulously Ukrainian propaganda showing where the rebels are
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Per calorie, beef requires more than 100 times as much land as rice and potatoes
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
On health and military spending, the U.S. looks like the developing world
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Alexander Becker
No more
Know more
The targets of hate crime: Jews, Muslims and gay men
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Gaza is about as densely populated as Boston
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Fracking or other industry might have caused these “swarms” of earthquakes
Max Ehrenfreund