Income inequality, which refers to the unequal distribution of income within a population, is no small problem today: according to the United Nations, 71% of people in the world live in countries where this type of inequality has increased. Yet some societies have become more egalitarian than others, and to demonstrate this, Stacker used data from the World Inequality Database to compile a list of 30 countries with the lowest income inequalities.

To help put into perspective the share of pre-tax income earned by the richest 1% and the poorest 50%, we considered “perfect income equality”, in which each adult would earn the same income. In a country with perfect income equality, for example, the richest 1% would earn exactly 1% of all income, and the poorest 50% would earn exactly 50% of all income.

While many countries are moving towards full income equality, none have yet. The United States, for example, has a long way to go: it’s the 52nd country with the most income inequality in the world according to this ranking. Even when the distribution of income appears relatively even, inequalities of opportunity abound and can ultimately impact economic circumstances both personally and collectively.

Read on to see which countries have more equal societies, the factors that contribute to this outcome, and some of the disparities that still exist.

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