Prague, Czech Republic – Yet another reason to celebrate the Czech Republic’s socio-economic situation: according to the EU’s statistical office, Czechia boasts the lowest income inequality in Europe.
That is, based on the so-called income quintile share ratio, or the difference ratio between the total income received by the 20% richest part of the population and the 20% of the population that receives the lowest income.
“The way income and wealth are distributed across society determines the extent to which individuals have equal access to the goods and services produced within a national economy”, writes Eurostat.
In this regard, the Czech Republic is unmatched, with an income quintile share ratio that stood at 3.3 in 2018, the lowest among all EU member states, and 0.1 lower than in 2017.
The other most egalitarian societies in Europe in terms of income distribution between the top and bottom 20% of the population were Slovenia (ratio of 3.4), Finland, Slovakia (both 3.5) and Belgium (3.8).
In contrast, the countries with the highest income inequality in Europe were Bulgaria (ratio of 8.2), Lithuania (7.3), Spain (6.6), Romania (6.5), Latvia (6.3) and Greece (6.1), according to Eurostat.
Both Poland (4.6) and Hungary (4.3), although not as equal as their Czech and Slovak neighbours, remained below the EU average of 5.1.
According to the Gini coefficient, another widely used instrument to measure inequalities, both the Czech Republic and Slovakia boasted the lowest income inequality among all OECD countries.
Not all is perfect, however: although the Czech Republic is one of the most egalitarian countries in the world in terms of income distribution between its top richest and poorest parts of the population, it also has the second highest wage gaps between men and women in Europe.
Note: Income quintile share ratio data for 2018 isn’t available yet for all EU countries