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Overall trends in income inequality

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This graph shows the overall trends in income inequality from 1999-00 to 2017-18 using the Gini coefficient by both weekly and annual income. A higher Gini represents greater overall inequality.

When the weekly income measure is used, the Gini rises from 0.304 to 0.319 between 1999-00 and 2007-08 and ends up at 0.315 in 2017-18.

When the annual income measure is used, inequality increases more sharply from 0.305 in 1999-00 to 0.344 in 2007-08, falling back to 0.329 in 2014-15.

In theory, we would expect the Gini coefficient for annual income to be lower than that for weekly income, as incomes are smoothed out throughout the year. One explanation for the higher Gini for annual incomes  is that fluctuating one-off incomes such as dividends and capital gains were under-reported in the weekly income measure. Another is that the annual income measure does not accurately pick up fluctuations in social security payments through the year. Find out more by reading our methodology page.

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