What it measures
Dimension: Income and wealth distribution
The Gini Coefficient measures income distribution and is commonly used to assess the extent to which income is distributed equally among the population. Possible values range from zero to one. A score of zero would represent a perfectly equal distribution of income, while a score of one would represent one person in the population having access to all of the income. Consequently, a lower Gini Coefficient is indicative of a more equal income distribution.
Why this matters
Unequal income distribution is detrimental to the wellbeing of Canadians because it is related to financial instability and poorer economic growth. These conditions can result in a decrease in the amount of money governments are able to invest in public education, health care, and other services essential to quality of life. In countries or provinces with a higher Gini Coefficient, there are usually higher levels of household debt.
Indicator data table
Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 206-0033