Income inequality in the Netherlands remains stable
Income inequality in the Netherlands barely changed between 2010 and 2011, and has remained virtually unchanged over the past several years, according to a new report from Statistics Netherlands.
On a scale of 0 to 1, where 0 represents total income equality and 1 represents total inequality (i.e. one person earns all the income), income inequality in the Netherlands was 0,27 as of 2011 (the latest available data).
Income inequality only increased slightly in 2007, when those with the highest incomes (including many self-employed people) benefited more than average from the short-lived economic upturn.
On the other hand, self-employed people were the first hit by the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, which reduced income inequality once again.
In general income inequality is much higher between self-employed people than it is among employees and benefit recipients, and it also fluctuates more over time.
Germany also witnessed an increase in income inequality back in 2007. Prior to 2007 it was nearly identical to that of the Netherlands, but instead of rising only temporarily, income inequality there has stabilised at a higher level.
In Sweden, which after Slovenia has the lowest income inequality in the EU and which is more comparable to the Netherlands in terms of prosperity, income inequality has remained stable for the last several years.
The Netherlands has the 5th lowest income inequality in the EU. After Slovenia and Sweden, the Czech Republic and Finland fill out the Top 5. Meanwhile, income inequality is highest in Latvia, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Romania.
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