Income Inequality Holds Steady


    Income inequality has remained relatively flat in Canada for more than a decade, contrary to conventional wisdom, says a report by the TD Bank. The report says income inequality, also known as the income gap – a country’s broadest measure of what rich people earn versus what poor people make – was escalating rapidly until about 1998, but has remained “surprisingly unchanged” since then. The report bases much of its findings by looking at the ‘Gini coefficient,’ a mathematical figure that economists often use to compare incomes across a broad spectrum. A country with perfect income equality (one in which every citizen earns the same amount) would have a Gini coefficient of zero. Conversely, a country in which one person earns all the country’s money would have a Gini figure of one. By giving countries a ranking on the Gini scale, economists say they are able to compare them fairly. In 1998, Canada’s Gini coefficient was 0.43. It is still at that level today, says TD Bank.