Social Inequality Rising in Russia

Between the beginning of 1990’s and 2012, inequality has strongly increased in Russia in many domains (income, health access, housing, etc.), according to Oxfam report.
This is mainly the case for income inequality: the Gini coefficient The Gini coefficient compares real income distribution with a theoretical perfect equality (everyone has the same income). The closer the Gini is to zero, the more equal the distribution is. The closer the Gini is to one, the more unequal the distribution is. A Gini of 1 could mean a single individual receiving all the income and everyone else getting nothing.]] increased from 0.26 to 0.42, whereas the richest 10% earn today a minima 17 times more than the poorest 10%, it was 4 times more in 1990. At the same time, the richest 1% own 71% of the wealth’s country. Such a inequality can be observe between regions: the GDP per habitant of the richest regions is 10 times more high than the poorest regions one.

This growing evolution of income inequality coïncidate with evolution observed within most of rich countries in the world (link to OECD report). But its temporality illustrates a distinct reality : the growth of inequality is concentrated in the beginning of 1990’s, during the evolution from socialist economy to a more liberal economy after the collapse of USSR. Whereas the level of inequality was similar to the level observed in Sweden for exampleduring the 1980’s, inequality is today at an equivalent level to the level observed in Latin America countries, most unequal countries in the world. Since the 2000’s, the grow is pursuing but it is less strong.

Please click here to read the report of Daria Ukhova, “After Equality: Inequality trends and policy responses in contemporary Russia”, published by Oxfam International, 10 June 2014.

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