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 typical Chicago city school gets half the funding of one in the wealthy suburbs
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Max Ehrenfreund
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Yes, Americans do understand that climate change is real
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
A graph that shows when it’s O.K. to date someone younger than you
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Ebola could sicken between 77,181 and 277,124 people in 2014 if trends continue
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Where do America’s foreign students come from?
No more
Know more
Janette Hong
No more
Know more
Which countries have the highest rates of suicide
Max Ehrenfreund
No more
Know more
Seeing music: The Moonlight Sonata, charted
Max Ehrenfreund