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China

Equality trends, 2011

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A common yardstick for measuring societal equality is the Gini coefficient, which runs from 0 (everyone has the same income) to 1 (one person has all the income).  Most countries range between 0.25 and 0.6.  The Economist shows that the Gini coefficient has gone up a lot in some rich countries since the 1980s.  And as poor countries are on average growing faster than rich ones, inequality in the world as a whole is falling.

What Happened? - 2011

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Two centuries of western hegemony may be coming to a close rather earlier than many had imagined: in 2011 the economies of the rising states are likely to grow by 8% more, while debt-burdened advanced nations will mostly struggle to expand by more than 2%. The pattern is well-established.  The global divide is now between slow- and fast-growing nations as much as between the rich and the rising.