The Gini Coefficient is a statistical measure of dispersion. It is an indication of the spread of data similar to standard deviation and variance. In economics, the Gini coefficient is used to represent the income inequality within a demographic.
This coefficient was developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini. The Gini Coefficient can be calculated for both continuous distributions and discrete data.
Over the last century in developed countries, there is a trend of increasing inequality. While in developing countries, this is a decline in inequality since the 1980’s. THis can be attributed to all the new jobs created due to technology and globalization. Countries following the nordic model tend to have a lower overall Gini coefficient.
Gini’s coefficient is used in other disciplines. For example, it is used in ecology as a measure of biodiversity in a region. In health, it is used as a measure of inequality of health related quality of life in a population.