© 2007 Population Reference Bureau
2007 World PoPulation data Sheet
World PoPulation HigHligHts
Levels o Income Inequality VaryAround the World.
The Gini index is the most common measure o income inequality. It isconstructed so that zero corresponds to perect income equality (thatis, everyone has the same income), while 100 corresponds to perectincome inequality (that is, one person has all the income while everyoneelse has none). The median value o the Gini index across the world’scountries is 39.The United States has a Gini index o 41, above the level o most indus-trialized countries and reecting its greater income inequality. Amongdeveloping countries, the Gini index varies rom below 40 (India, BurkinaFaso) to above 50 (Zambia, Bolivia). Greater income inequality is associ-ated with weakened social cohesion and worse health status. Incomeinequality appears to increase, at least in the short term, in countries thatare innovating and growing rapidly economically. Countries can inuencetheir levels o income inequality through policies aecting taxation, publictranser programs, education, and migration.
World Bank, World Development Indicators, online database (http://publications.worldbank.org/WDI/, accessed May 25, 2007).
Long a Problem in IndustrializedCountries, Obesity Is a Problemin the Developing World.
Globally, at least 1 billion adults are overweight (body mass index, orBMI, exceeding 25), with about 300 million o those adults consideredobese (BMI o 30 or greater). While obesity has long been a problemin industrialized countries, levels are rising in many developing coun-tries as well. For example, one-ourth o Mexican men and one-thirdo Mexican women are considered obese. Similarly, obesity rates are21 percent or Moroccan women and 35 percent or South Aricanwomen—signifcantly greater than the rates or women in many indus-trialized nations.
World Health Organization, WHO Global InoBase Online, CountryComparable Data (http://inobase.who.int, accessed June 15, 2007).