The Inequality World Cup

 

The world is watching

Our Inequality World Cup puts a different perspective on the beautiful game. Forget FIFA rankings, our World Cup wallchart highlights the 32 footballing nations' performance in tackling poverty and wealth inequality.

Belgium come out on top. However, they and the other high-scoring European nations still have some work to do to reduce their wealth gaps. It's not all bad news, though. Even Latin America countries, which have the biggest overall gap between the richest 10% of the population and the poorest 40%, have been reducing levels of inequality across the region over the past ten years. So it can be done. And we're going all out to equalise.

Click on the groups below for more information about each country's rating. The knockout stage tab shows the progress through the rest of the tournament and the overall winners.

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Income equality
Stability
Gender equality
Health & Education
Income per head
About
A Brazil Croatia Mexico Cameroon
B Spain Netherlands Chile Australia
C Greece Côte d'Ivoire Japan Colombia
D Uruguay Costa Rica England Italy
E Honduras Switzerland Ecuador France
F Nigeria Argentina Bosnia & Herz. Iran
G Germany Portugal Ghana USA
H Belgium Algeria Russia South Korea
KO Knockout
stage

Group A

Brazil has a relatively low income per person and ranks in the bottom third of World Cup countries on human development. There is also a wide gap between the rich and the poor. This year's tournament hosts have the third highest Palma ratio after Honduras and Colombia; in 2009, the richest 10% of people had 4.3 times more income than the 78.6 million people that make up the poorest 40%. However, inequality has been reducing in the region over the last 10 years.

Croatia is one of the most stable countries in the World Cup, but ranks in the bottom half of World Cup countries on income per person and human development. Croatia also ranks relatively low on income inequality, on par with England, Portugal, and Algeria. The Palma ratio shows that, as of 2008, the richest 10% had 1.4 times the income as the 1.8 million people that made up the poorest 40%. The country has relatively high gender equality, on a par with France and Portugal.

Cameroon has relatively high income inequality; the Palma ratio shows that as of 2007, the richest 10% had 1.8 times more income than the 8 million people that make up the poorest 40%.

Mexico features in the bottom half of the table on income per person and human development and has relatively high income inequality. In 2010, the richest 10% had 2.7 times the income as the poorest 40%. Mexico also slips into the bottom half of the table on gender equality and stability.

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The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

Group B

Australia is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, tying with the USA for the highest human development ranking. Australia also has the second highest income per person of the World Cup countries, after Switzerland. The Palma ratio finds that the country has relatively low income inequality, with the richest 10% holding 1.3 times more income than the lowest 40%. Australia has the fourth best gender equality score and is the third most stable country in the tournament.

The Netherlands has the fifth highest income per person out of World Cup countries and ties with Germany for third highest score on human development. The Netherlands is also joint with Germany on inequality, for both income and gender inequalities. As of 2010, the richest 10% had the same amount of income as the poorest 40%, the second lowest ratio of the countries in the World Cup and has the third highest score for gender equality. The Netherlands is the second most stable World Cup country, after Switzerland.

Spain ranks in the top half of World Cup countries on income per capita and human development, and has relatively low income inequality among World Cup countries – as of 2010, the richest 10% had 1.3 times the income of the poorest 40%, the same as Australia, Japan, and Greece. Spain ranks in the top third for gender equality and in the top half for stability.

Chile scores in the middle of our World Cup table on income per person and human development, but has the fifth highest level of inequality. In 2011, the richest 10% had 3.2 times the income of the 7 million people that make up the poorest 40%. Chile also scores poorly on gender inequality, the eighth worst country in the World Cup.

 PWDLPts
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The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

Group C

Côte d’Ivoire ties with Algeria and Iran as the third least stable among World Cup countries. The country also has the lowest ranking on human development and very low income per person, second lowest of all the World Cup countries. Côte d’Ivoire has high income inequality. The Palma ratio shows that in 2008, the richest 10% had double the income of the 8.24 million people that make up the poorest 40%. Along with Iran, Côte d’Ivoire has the worst ranking on gender equality among World Cup countries.

Greece scores in the top half of countries on income and human development and has relatively low income inequality among World Cup countries – richest 10% had 1.3 times the income of the poorest 40%, as of 2010, tied with Australia, Japan, Spain. Greece falls into the bottom half of the table on gender equality on a par with Ghana, Honduras, Uruguay and also is one of the more unstable countries in the World Cup.

Japan has the fourth highest income per person of countries playing in the World Cup and ties with Switzerland and South Korea as having the fifth highest score for human development. Japan comes in fourth place, joint with Belgium, for stability and joint eighth for income inequality. Japan slips down the table on gender equality, tied with Nigeria with the fifth lowest score.

Colombia has relatively low income per person out of the World Cup countries, and ranks in the bottom half on human development. After Nigeria, Colombia has the second worst score on stability among World Cup countries. Colombia has relatively good equality between the genders, scoring in the top half of World Cup countries.

 PWDLPts
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The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

Group D

Costa Rica is the ninth most stable country in the World Cup, but ranks in the bottom half of World Cup countries on income per person and human development. Costa Rica also has the fourth highest income inequality out of the World Cup countries; the Palma ratio finds that, as of 2009, the richest 10% had 3.3 times the income of the 1.9 million people that made up the poorest 40%.

England (UK data) makes it into the top third of World cup countries on income per person and human development. But many people are excluded from this income, with the Palma ratio showing that in 2010, the richest 10% had 1.4 times the income of the 25 million people that make up the poorest 40%. England scores relatively well on gender equality, with similar scores to Ecuador, USA and Australia.

Italy scores in the upper half of countries on income per person, human development and stability, but in the bottom third on income inequality – richest 10% had 1.2 times the income of the poorest 40%, as of 2010. Italy also ranks in the bottom half of World Cup countries on gender equality, tied with Brazil and Mexico.

Uruguay ranks in the middle of the table on income per person and falls into the bottom half on human development and gender equality, tied with Greece, Honduras, and Ghana. Uruguay falls down the table in terms of inequality, with a Palma of 2.5, the eighth worst of the countries in the World Cup.

 PWDLPts
30000
30000
30000
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The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

Group E

Switzerland has the highest income per capita of all World Cup countries and ranks as the most stable country. Switzerland ties with Belgium as the World Cup country with the highest gender equality. Switzerland has the fifth highest human development score and the fourth lowest Palma ratio for income inequality – in 2009 the richest 10% held 1.1 times the income of the poorest 40%.

Ecuador has the sixth highest income inequality among World Cup countries. The Palma ratio shows that in 2010, the richest 10% had 3.1 times the income of the 5.9 million people that made up the poorest 40%. Ecuador ranks in the bottom third of World Cup countries on income per person and human development. The country ranks in the bottom third of World Cup countries on stability, tying with Cameroon as the eighth most unstable. However, Ecuador stands out for its high equality between the genders; fifth among World Cup countries.

France ranks in the top third of World Cup countries on income per person and human development. The country has relatively low income inequality, tying with Switzerland and South Korea for the fourth lowest Palma ratio; as of 2010, the richest 10% had 1.1 times the income as the 25.4 million people that make up the poorest 40%. France has a relatively good stability ranking.

Honduras has the highest income inequality of all World Cup countries – as of 2009, richest 10% had 5.2 times the income of the poorest 40%. Honduras is also among the poorer of countries playing in the World Cup, with the fourth lowest income per person and the fifth lowest score on human development. It also ranks in bottom half on gender equality and stability.

 PWDLPts
30000
30000
30000
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The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

Group F

Nigeria is the most unstable out of all of the World Cup countries. It is the fifth lowest country when ranked by income per person and even lower, in second last place, on human development. Nigeria ties with Japan as the fifth lowest on gender equality. Nigeria has relatively high income inequality among World Cup countries – as of 2010, the richest 10% had the 1.8 times the income of the poorest 40%.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has the sixth lowest income per person of the World Cup countries. It has a low human development score; on par with Iran. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a low stability and violence score. [No data is available for the Gender Gap in Bosnia and Herzegovina].

Argentina achieves middle of the table scores on human development and income levels. But Argentina falls well into the bottom half of the table when it comes to inequality; in 2010, the richest 10% of people had 2.4 times more income than the 16.4 million people that make up the poorest 40%. Argentina makes the top half of the table on gender equality, alongside Colombia and Costa Rica.

Iran ties with Côte d’Ivoire for the lowest score on gender equality and is joint with Algeria and Côte d’Ivoire as the third most unstable countries. Iran ranks in the bottom third of countries playing in the World Cup, on both income per capita and human development. Iran has the same income inequality as the USA – as of 2005, the richest 10% had 1.7 times the income of the poorest 40%.

 PWDLPts
30000
30000
30000
30000

The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

Group G

Germany has a high income per person, and ties with the Netherlands for the third highest human development ranking. Germany also ties with the Netherlands for the second lowest income inequality of the World Cup countries; as of 2010, the richest 10% had the same income as the 32.8 million people that made up the poorest 40%, still an important gap. Along with the Netherlands, Germany has the third best score amongst World Cup countries for gender equality.

Ghana scores towards the bottom of the table on income per capita, only Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon record less income per person. Ghana also has the fourth lowest score for human development. Ghana also has relatively high income inequality (the richest 10% had 2.2 times the wealth as the poorest 40%, as of 2006) and ranks in the bottom half on gender equality.

The USA is one of the richest and most developed, with the third highest income per person of the World Cup Countries after Switzerland, and Australia. However the Palma ratio finds that in 2010, the richest 10% of people had 1.7 times more income than the 125 million people that make up the poorest 40%.

Portugal just makes it into the top half of countries on income per person and human development. In 2010, the richest 10% held the 1.4 times the income as the poorest 40% a relatively low score for the countries playing in the World Cup. Portugal has a mid table performance on gender equality but scores relatively well, in the top third of the table, on stability.

 PWDLPts
30000
30000
30000
30000

The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

Group H

Russia scores in the most unequal half of countries on income inequality – as of 2009, the top 10% of people had 1.9 times the income of the poorest 40%. Russia has a mid-table score for income per capita, human development and gender equality. Russia ranks in the bottom half of World Cup countries on stability.

Belgium has the lowest income inequality of all the World Cup countries; in 2010, the wealthiest 10% had just slightly less income than the 4.3 million people that make up the poorest 40%. The country also ties with Switzerland for the highest level of gender equality out of all the World Cup countries. Belgium ranks in the top third for income per person and human development and is the fourth most stable World Cup country.

Algeria ranks in the bottom third of World Cup countries on income per person and human development, and is one of the least stable of the World Cup countries. The country is also the third worst on gender equality after Côte d’Ivoire and Iran. Inequality in Algeria when measured by the Palma ratio is the same as that in England, Croatia and Portugal, with the top 10% of people having 1.4 times the income of the bottom 40% of people

South Korea ties with Switzerland and Japan for the fifth best score on human development and features in the top half of countries for income per person. The country also has relatively low income inequality among World Cup countries, on a par with Switzerland and France. In 2011 the richest 10% had 1.1 times the income of the poorest 40%. However it scores fourth lowest on gender equality, ahead of only Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Iran.

 PWDLPts
30000
30000
30000
30000

The group table above shows how each country would perform if the games were decided on success in tackling income inequality. The Palma ratio looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes.

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. Retrieved: May 2014

Go to the knockout stage >

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About Oxfam's Inequality World Cup scoring system

Income inequality (the Palma Ratio)

We know that the rich have more money than the poor, but how much more? The Palma looks at the income of two different groups; the richest 10% of people in the country and the poorest 40%. The Palma ratio compares the share of income earned by these two groups. A value of 1, for example, means that the richest 10% of people earn the same amount of money as the poorest 40%, four times as many people, higher values indicate even more unequal incomes. Belgium has the lowest Palma score of all the World Cup countries at 0.9, whilst Honduras have the highest score at 5.2. The Palma has been calculated using the most up-to-date data available on income shares for each country from the World Bank and the OECD (2005-2011 and 1995 for Algeria).

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators. OECD Income Distribution Database, Version September 2013. Retrieved May 2014.

Health and Education (Human Development Index)

We often use income levels to tell us about a countries level of development, but what about people’s basic needs of health and education? The Human Development Index (HDI) combines indicators of life expectancy and educational attainment with income levels to provide a more people focused measure of a countries development. Values are expressed between 0 and 1, with a higher score indicating higher human development and a low score indicating serious development challenges facing a country’s population. In 2012, Côte d’Ivoire had the lowest HDI score of all the countries in the World Cup at 0.43 and Australia and the USA had the highest score at 0.94. All HDI values are from 2012 and were sourced from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2013 Human Development Report.

Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Human Development Index (2012 Index, published as part of the 2013 report). Retrieved May 2014.

Income per head (GDP Per Capita)

We know that some countries are richer than other countries, but how much richer? GDP per capita tells us how much money an individual in a given country would earn in a year, if all the value of goods and services produced within that country were divided equally amongst the population. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita varies widely around the world. In 2012, the country with the lowest GDP per capita playing in the World cup this year is Cameroon ($1,167 USD) and country with the highest income per person was Switzerland ($78,928 USD). All data presented is from the World Bank's World Development Indicators (2012 values for all countries).

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators (2012 data). Retrieved May 2014.

Gender equality (Gender Gap Index)

We know that all over the world, the opportunities for women can be very different to that of men, but how different? The Gender Gap Index looks at a range of issues where women’s experience differs from men’s. These include basic health and education outcomes and differences in the work place and in politics. The highest possible score is 1 (equality), where women and men receive equal treatment on all measures and the lowest possible score is 0. According to the Gender Gap Index, Côte d’Ivoire and Iran have the biggest gap in gender equality of the countries playing in the World Cup (0.58) and Switzerland and Belgium are the most equal countries (0.77). All data presented is from the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report (2013 values for all countries), there is no data available for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Source: World Economic Forum, The Global Gender Gap Report. Retrieved May 2014.

Stability (Stability/Violence measure)

All countries experience violence and conflict to some degree which can damage the fabric of a nation and its institutions and can reverse development progress. But which countries are the most unstable? The Stability/Violence measure gathers information on armed conflict, violent demonstrations, social unrest, threat of terrorism, and ethnic tensions to determine how likely it is that a government will be destabilized or overthrown. Values range globally from -2.9 to 1.9, with a lower score meaning a greater risk of violence and instability. Nigeria is the most unstable country playing in the World cup scoring -2.1 and Switzerland is the most stable at 1.4. All data presented is from the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (2012 data for all countries).

Source: World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (2012 data). Retrieved May 2014.

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