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
The eight stages of overeating
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
How to tell your first cousin from your second cousin, twice removed
Ana Swanson
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Five of the biggest Thanksgiving snowstorms in history
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Here’s how terrible people are at estimating calories
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
This graphic designer created a beautiful new way of visualizing the year in weather
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Watch Ferguson tweets explode across the U.S.
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The most diverse tech company isn’t very diverse at all
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The country with the most cap-and-trade programs? China
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
How Republican or Democrat is your name?
Ana Swanson