dijous, 1 d’octubre de 2015

The growth of inequality in Spain from the beginning of the crisis

The latest official figures from the OECD show that Spain is one of the countries where the disposable income in real terms has declined more during the crisis and at the same time, one of the countries where the economic and social inequalities are bigger.

If you consider, first, the disposable income in real terms per capita it can be seen how Spain is one of the OECD countries where at present (first quarter 2015) it is lower, along with Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia, Italy and Greece, and it is very far (a 13.5%) of the average of the OECD. We should emphasize also that countries which are above the average of the OECD or they are non-European countries (Australia and Canada), or they are not in the EU (Norway) or they do not have the euro as their currency (Poland, Sweden and Denmark).

At the same time, compared to the situation before the crisis, countries with a greater reduction in the real disposable income per capita between 2007 and the 1st quarter of 2015 are also Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Ireland, Spain (-5.4 %) and Portugal. Meanwhile, the disposable income per capita of the OECD in this period increases  (+ 8.1%) as well as in Germany, and especially in the same countries mentioned before as the ones that have a higher real disposable income per capita, which are also those that have had an increase in the real disposable income per capita bigger than the OECD average.

Spain is also among the OECD countries where inequalities in income distribution are more important.

This is true both if, as a measure of inequality, it is used the Gini coefficient as if it is used the relationship between the income received for the 10% with more income compared to the 10% who receives less income. Regarding the Gini coefficient, Spain is only overcome in inequality by Estonia, Portugal, Greece, UK and US and it is far from countries where there is less inequality. If it is used the ratio of income received by the 10% richest and the 10% of the poorest population, the relative situation of Spain -with a value of almost 5- becomes even worse and it is only overcome by the inequality in the US.

On the other hand, poverty in Spain is one of the highest among OECD countries. If measured by population which earns less than 50% of the median disposable income, only Greece, Korea and the US have higher levels of poverty than Spain. If you consider the number of children living in poor families (although the available data are from 2009) only the USA and Poland are above Spain.

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