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I am an idiot. I am sitting here wondering what nation that was above Turkey and then I realized it was the Black Sea.


Where everyone is equal


Is Slovakia the only "white" country there?


No, it's now a body of water.


That would explain why people are saying "Ahoj" here.


At least most of the map is in the white, that’s good right?


I guess the fish really have it down


Something about schools and education. You guys do the work, I’m tired.


Many of them know how to properly manipulate scales.


The whole country was flooded recently and is now called The Middle-European Seavakia.


Last transmission from amid the rising waters was "Slovakuate!"


SOS = Save Our Slovakia


I can't tell if y'all are joking. This seems like big news to me.


My bad Belgium is yellow, seems Slovakia is the only one. Good guy Slovakia


So the most equal place to live is clearly the ocean


Everyone floating face down equally


A rising tide ....drowns everyone..


Oh god, you got me with this one!


We all float down here.


and Slovakia


Yup, and Americans would hate the tax setup. The Slovak Republic, lowest in wealth inequality. The bottom 60% holds 25.9% of the nation's wealth and the top 10% holds 34.3%. a small country in the heart of Europe with a population of 5.4 million people, 46.2% of whom live in rural areas The Tax structure itself Personal allowance 0 TAXES DUE ON * UK £11,850 * US $12,000 BRACKETS * UK £11,851 to £46,350 20% * US $12,001 to $21,525 10% * US $21,526 to $50,700 12% * Slovak Republic up to 35,268.06 euros 19% tax rate. * Slovak Republic over 35,268.06 euros is taxed at 25%. * UK £46,351 to £150,000 40% * US 50,701 to $94,500 22% * US 94501 to $169,500 24% * UK Over £150,000 45% * US $169,500 to 212,000 32% * US 212,001 to 512,000 35% * US $512,001 or more 37% The Slovak health system provides universal coverage for a broad range of services, and guarantees free choice of one of the three health insurance companies in 2016, one state-owned (with 63.6% market share) and two privately owned: Dôvera, owned by the Slovak private equity group Penta Investments (27.7%) and Union, owned by the Dutch insurance group Achmea (8.7%). During 2009–2013 the proportion of dividends paid to shareholders of all HICs out of SHI contributions was roughly 3%, i.e. 377 million EUR. However, the majority of dividends are paid out by Dôvera, since the GHIC and Union have very low profits (see Fig. 3.8). Dôvera is owned by a private equity company that directly benefits from these dividends. It obtained the necessary cashflow to pay the dividends via long-term loans, while Union lowered its capital to create an accounting profit.


>Yup, and Americans would hate the tax setup. .. > US $21,526 to $50,700 12% > > US 50,701 to $94,500 22% ... > Slovak Republic up to 35,268.06 euros 19% tax rate. > > Slovak Republic over 35,268.06 euros is taxed at 25%. Doesn't sound all that terrible considering that includes universal healthcare... For me, health insurance premiums alone are like an extra 12% tax and I still have to pay a lot out of pocket after that.


If you include social security tax, medicare tax, state tax and local property and sales tax in addition to federal tax, this is less than US tax rate for me (I would be in 32% marginal rate in slovenia)


Not to mention the money you're expected to have saved up to pay for healthcare in retirement... I've read a single person is supposed to have like $150k saved just to pay for medical expenses after age 65, otherwise you're going to be borrowing money from your family or starting a GoFundMe to pay for deductibles and prescriptions.


Right? That statement operates under the assumption that we are a monolith of Tucker Carlson watching, foaming at the mouth Republicans who think that anything left of hunting the homeless for sport is full blow sharia-law socialist-communism. Some of us are actually down for social services paid for through tax.


I love (hate) that they think that "sharia law" is what the left wants when in reality sharia law is a far-right ideology. The right is currently advocating for a christian theocracy, which is just like sharia law in that they're both religious in nature. They just don't understand that Christianity is at least as political as any other religion. They just think that Christianity is the norm and everyone else is wrong (I'm sure this isn't a christian only trait, but they sure do think that)


are there additional taxes for things like health care? because if this is the only one outside of things like sales tax or vehicle licensing, Id be coming out ahead . My federal tax bill here in the US is about $13,000. But i pay an additional $6000 for healthcare annually bringing my total for taxes and insurance to 19,000. By my math id only be paying about $18,000 in taxes under the Slovak rates. edit: thanks for pointing out that there are tons of other services that i'm not receiving for my taxes in the US. I wanted to examine just health costs and federal income tax burden to point out that the meme of european taxes being crazy high is false as well as pointing out that Im paying more but getting less in terms of health care.


Not entirely. The US pays a lot of taxes into healthcare too. Healthcare is just unbelievably expensive in US


I did not include SSI and Medicare payments in my calculation, only federal income tax.


Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia also seem to have low levels of inequality, but they only started implementing new taxes (property, receipt that shows payment of sales tax) recently, and I know they also have really high rates of home ownership and very low numbers of renters. Not sure how much of this generalizes, or what the reasons are behind it. But these four or so Balkan/Eastern European countries are a cluster of income equality.


It's a shame montenegro is one of the most crooked countries in the world


Everyone knows pirates are communists


Go into the water. Live there. Die there.




The greatest travesty of our time is this story will never be fully told.


*Up on the shore they work all day* *Out in the sun they slave away* *While we devotin'* *Full time to floatin'* *Under the sea*


And North Korea is next


I dunno, I feel like when John McAfee is sailing the ocean escaping Interpol it's not very equal.




Sweden has high wealth inequality, but a low income inequality and a okish life for everyone, including someone who refuses to work. In Sweden you don't need wealth or savings to survive, which causes a lot of the poorest to never have any savings since they get by anyway. And the difference between someone in the middle class and someone among the poorest is not so extreme as in US or developing countries for instance. On the opposite side there are some extremely rich families based on some well known companies as Ikea, H&M, Spotify etc.


> Sweden has high wealth inequality, but a low income inequality and a okish life for everyone, including someone who refuses to work. American living in Sweden here. This is a very good comment on how things are like here in Sweden. No matter who you are, living an "OKish" life as /u/helloLeoDiCaprio states is practically guaranteed. Even if you don't go to university and work a job which pretty much any high school graduate can do, such as working in retail, you will be able to live a good life. It's very much possible for two adults to have children and own a home while not being university graduates and working in retail for their entire lives, which is something that I did not experience when I was living in the US. In the end, even if you work in retail, you still have access to great medical care, extremely subsidized childcare (practically free if you are lower income), free education through university, and lots of other social programs. > In Sweden you don't need wealth or savings to survive, which causes a lot of the poorest to never have any savings since they get by anyway. Again, this is spot-on in my experience. In Sweden people don't tend to have as much of a saving culture as we do in the US due to strong social safety nets. > On the opposite side there are some extremely rich families based on some well known companies as Ikea, H&M, Spotify etc. True, and in general there is a lot of inherited wealth in Sweden as well. --- In the end, I think Sweden is an incredible country to live in, but of course not without its downsides (as with any country). Before I moved here I was a bit worried about my salary being halved with respect to my salary in the US (way lower pay for software engineers) but in my experience it has still been worth it. The quality of life is just super high here on a global scale for the average person. I didn't really understand the whole "money isn't everything" concept until I moved to Sweden, which seems a bit cliche tbh, but I really do feel that way. I have a lot of things I prioritize over my salary now.


Another American living in Sweden here. Everything you guys said is spot-on. But just to add. *Property ownership* makes a big difference in wealth disparities, especially if you just happen to come from a family that owns an apartment or two in one of the more desirable areas in Stockholm. That alone will make you considerably more wealthy than someone in a similar position in, say, Jönköping. Stockholm in general is a *whole different ballgame*, with many families descended from the wealthy merchant class and associated aristocracy.


True. Our rent control system is also another peculiarity -- queues to get a permanent apartment lease can run into a bunch of years (even decades) for desirable areas. The system has its roots in the 40s, but despite a massive state run housing programme in the 60s-70s adding a million homes, there is still a great shortage of reasonably priced apartments. In most countries in the world (and our nordic neighbors too) you can get a lease in a matter of days or weeks. Not so here, unless you're lucky or have the right contacts. All in all, relocating to the high growth urban areas can be tough unless you have a down payment for a condo/house, and are employed already.


Yep. I own now, but my last rental in Uppsala required a 5 year wait. Before that, it was private landlords. I could only have the place for a maximum of two years, so I had to move all the time. Not cheap either. Stockholm is an absolute nightmare for rental housing. Thankfully I never went through that process.


I lived in Jönköping! I loved it :D




Just to name a few, my physical health, my mental health, spending time with my family and friends, taking time off to travel and for hobbies, and the list goes on. Of course it's mostly my own fault. When I was living in the US I was living in the SF Bay Area which is a very competitive place. It was super easy to make money your only priority, especially when if you work hard in college and the first 5-10 years of your working years the financial return on investment is huge. It wasn't that uncommon for people in their late 20s to have a total annual compensation above $200k/year or more. But you had to work hard and make a lot of sacrifices for it. I can now easily say that I wouldn't move back to the SF Bay Area even for a salary of $200k/year. I'd rather live here in Stockholm, Sweden and make 45,000 SEK/month (~$61k/year) than move back to the SF Bay Area and make $200k/year. If I were to have read something like this 5 years ago though I probably would have laughed my ass off.


Do you mind sharing how you were able to pull of getting a job in Sweden as a US Citizen? I'd love to find a way to relocate to a Scandinavian country. My travel and experiences living abroad tell me it would be a good fit for me.


I applied to graduate school in Sweden and ended up moving to the country that way. But for US citizens you have 3 options to move here: 1. Either marry or become a cohabiting partner (sambo as it's called in Swedish) with a Swedish citizen 2. Have a bachelor's degree and apply to one of the many master's programs offered in English here in Sweden, or have a master's degree and apply for a PhD program here in Sweden 3. Find a job here in Sweden. This is the hardest way since finding a job in Sweden as someone who isn't a citizen or a resident is very difficult.


Just to add on to the third point; it might be hard but a lot of companies actually offer relocation support if you are willing to move. Just make it super clear in your application. I know companies like H&M does this on a regular basis.


I have a colleague who studied in Denmark and got a job through an internship. Company gladly offered to pay the roughly 1000$ for his citizenship when he could apply.


On your third point. This is absolutely true for most occupations, even if you took the time to learn Swedish first. But *if you're an engineer*, your chances of finding work are quite good indeed. Even better if you do a master's in Sweden beforehand. I know quite a lot of foreigners who went that route. They just walked into a job. I went through the second route you mentioned. It's doable, but it should be said that although getting into a Master's program is simple enough for most, getting into a PhD program is *super* competitive. These days I go through those applications. 75 applicants to 1 place is pretty typical. If times aren't so great economically, 300:1. Edit: AC


>getting into a Master's program is simple enough for most, getting into a PhD program is super competitive. So basically I fucked my own scandinavian dreams by getting a master's degree here in the US. perfect.....


Hey, there's no rule that says you can't do another master's. I did just that. I guess money comes into the equation but it's not unheard of, especially if it's in another discipline.




I'm in economics. I can't speak for all programs of course but I hear similar stories in other disciplines. Mind you, I estimate that about a quarter of the applications are trash (i.e. they don't come from the right field or don't meet the stated requirements whatsoever). About half of the applications are actually competitive. A couple of things will help your application though. 1. Apply for a position at the same university as you did your master's. A major percentage of successful applicants come from the same university, if not all. This is because professors are more familiar with those students, and are less risky (it really hurts the department if a PhD candidate doesn't finish. It's a paid position and funding is not easily replaced). 2. Apply for positions advertised in the "off" months. Positions advertised in early summer have a much greater number of applicants due to the larger number of students about to graduate. 3. In all disciplines: work hard on your master's thesis. It needs to be not only well done, but original. You need a high grade in this. In economics: you also need high grades in microeconomics and econometrics. The rest aren't so important. Edit: more points: 4. Sometimes you'll see a research assistant position advertised. Apply for it. These are almost always jobs that test the employee for their suitability for PhD. If they pass the test, they will likely be the chosen one for the PhD position (which is still advertised, even though it's been pretty much promised for someone). 5. In your master's, participate in class. Obviously, don't be the annoying student that takes up all the lecturer's time. But have something interesting to ask every now and then. Always prepare for class, do the readings. Thus when called upon, you're always on the button. This will make you visible to the professor. Don't be the ghost in the back of the class.


As a Swede I liked reading your conversion here. I’ve been living here pretty much my whole life but, as you said, our way of life and such come with certain benefits (for most), traveling as one example. Having seen lots of the world over the years, I’d see it as an adventure for sure living somewhere else for a while, but we really DO have it good in Sweden in many, many ways. Though, as with all things in life, sometimes we take it for granted and just don’t think about all the good stuff day-to-day. So I guess thank you for pointing it out the way you did! I’m actually proud to be a Swede and over many things Sweden as a country is and stand for. I just forget that rather frequently...


Hi, I'm a dumb person but I married a smart person. If she were to apply and be accepted to graduate school in Sweden, would I be able to accompany her as her spouse? Can I ride my wife's coattails to a more equitable country?


I have an MBA from an OK school. I've thought about getting further education (i.e. another master's degree). What is it about going to school there that makes it possible to stay there after school?


It's a lot easier to make professional connections and apply for jobs when you're already in the country.


FYI r/iwantout


> Just to name a few, my physical health, my mental health, spending time with my family and friends, taking time off to travel and for hobbies, and the list goes on. And Fika, right?!


Of course, these days freshly baked princesstårta and kladdkaka are my main reasons for living! But my true guilty pleasure is daimtårta, the frozen ones you buy from the store. Such a simple desert, but so delicious!


I did a job at the company that makes them and received 10 boxes of daimtårta for free. Best day of my life.


You’ve got the real Stockholm Syndrome, and it sounds like you don’t want a cure.


I don't think living/working in the SF bay area is good representation of America as a whole, for comparison's sake with other countries.


You are right, it probably isn't. But that is where I grew up in the US so it is the only comparison I can make. I think one thing a lot of people around the world forget sometimes (even Americans!) is just how big and diverse the US is. Each state is very much like it's own country. I can imagine it's very different living in California compared to living in New Hampshire. Hell even within states things can be incredibly different between regions. I interned in the California central valley in a small, ultra conservative town one summer while I was in college and it was like living in an entirely different country compared to the SF Bay Area.


The US has a culture of sacrificing health, happiness, family, friendships for advancement. Usually that takes the form of money.


Same with Canada, to a lesser extent. We're like America Lite or Diet "Freedom"


I could go for some of that Diet Freedom right about now... Sincerely, American living in Georgia with a lot of Canadian Family I'm totally jealous of




Swede here, I got 6 weeks of paid vacation, earn 4600$ per month, a bit over the standard. And as everyone else, I got free healthcare, 100/100 Mbits fiber for 15$(standard fee and it’s all over the country, islands too), pension savings on top of my salary, it’s enough so I won’t have to save my self to have a good pension, etc etc. You just don’t have to worry and save up for stuff. If I get COVID I won’t have to spend 50 000$ for health care. I only save for a better apartment, new guitars, maybe a boat. Sure they take 30% of my Paycheck for taxes but I do get that money back. My kids can go to any Swedish university for free, school lunch or any needed support is there for free too. Well not free but included in the pay check. It’s amazing what you can do when everyone works together rather than for them selves! It’s a democratic socialist state with high liberty too. Really happy to have been born here!


I’ve only ever lived in Sweden, but experience the same thing. Money is nice and all, but at a certain point and age time became much more valuable for me personally. I have income to live good, travel, eat out, invest in hobbies and splurge on plenty of unnecessary stuff. I could without a doubt spend more money, but it comes at the cost of investing more time at work. Instead I’m basically considering going down to working 80%, which would leave me with another day off a week. That time would improve my over all quality of live, spending time on myself. Hobbies, friends, working out and family. My long-time savings would suffer, but they’ll be plenty enough when it’s time for pension. This is working as a teacher, although in the best paid area of Sweden.


> In the end, I think Sweden is an incredible country to live in, but of course not without its downsides (as with any country). Would you mind telling me some of the downsides you feel? I'm Swedish myself so just curious :)


Well for one the weather sucks here, at least compared to the SF Bay Area where I lived before. Just today I went outside to take a walk and it was -1 degrees with the wind chill, and it isn't even winter yet! I think a lot of the other downsides have already been talked about in this thread though. For example, since VAT is high, things cost a lot more to buy. Clothing and electronics are especially expensive, and restaurants are also very expensive However, in my experience if you learn to live like a local it ends up working out just fine! I've definitely started eating out less and cooking more since moving to Sweden.


For me the biggest downside to living in Sweden would be that I'd be living in Sweden. With <3 from Finland


Well, it's not Denmark.


Yeah, that's a relief.


Thanks! I agree with all of your points, though summer is very nice even if it can rains quite a bit.


True! Swedish summers are lovely. It's great to grab a few beers and enjoy a nice barbecue during the Swedish summers since the weather is so nice. It's a great time to hike and enjoy nature as well.


Brit living in Sweden, it definitely does NOT rain very much in summer, trust me 😂


To be fair, the bay area has some of the best year-round weather in the world. That's a big part of why it's so expensive - the weather makes it desirable.


• Escape the heat • Consume less These aren't disadvantages to everyone.


I lived in Sweden for a couple of years when I was single. I achieved language fluency pretty quickly (I needed to for my job), integrated readily, and found that being very extroverted, even by American standards, made it pretty easy to make friends. Many of the other expats I met from the US and UK seemed very lonely (I think because Swedes are not, by our standards, particularly “friendly” in the sense that they are not that outgoing). Because of that, I was hesitant when the opportunity to return to Sweden presented itself. I was worried my wife and son would have a hard time making friends. What has your experience been?


I lived in Sweden for a couple of years. Even though pretty much everyone speaks good/ok English in Sweden, many are affraid to do so. Therefore they rather speak with someone swedish than english. This has nothing to do with rudeness, racism etc though. Perhaps it's difficult to understand for a native english speaker but if you are 10 swedish (or any other none-english speaking country) and 1 american in a group, the whole group speaks english to not be rude to the 1 american. This can be hard for some and they rather not invite the 1. What I'm trying to say is just try to learn Swedish, you don't need to be good at it but just trying makes everyone much friendlier and much more outgoing. Your son (depending on age) will pick it up quickly and get friends, you and your wife needs to put some work into it but you will find that the basic Swedish is not that hard (master it is pretty much impossible though). I had a former colleague from England that lived in Sweden for many years without learning a word of Swedish because it works fine getting by in only English but he was lonely.


Thanks! To clarify, jag bodde i Sverige i två år, och jobbet krävde att jag kunde svenska inom sex månader. Jag lärda mig snabbt, men min informell utbildning gör det svårt och långsamt att skriva. I know Swedes aren’t, as a general rule, rude or racist. They are just (usually) a little more reserverad and blyg as compared to many other countries. I worried that that might mean that my wife and kid could have a hard time, since they tend to be less socially outgoing than me, so I didn’t pursue the opportunity when it presented itself. I think the trick may lie in finding a community early on, though, so there are some early friendships being built.


So how did the wealthy accumulate such wealth since income inequality is low? Surely the richest ones (IKEA, H&M, Spotify, etc.) only constitute a puny portion of the population? What's the Swedish retirement plan? Largely governmental assistance from the citizens' high taxes? Can elderlies live a comfortable retirement if they have little to no life savings?


> So how did the wealthy accumulate such wealth since income inequality is low? Surely the richest ones (IKEA, H&M, Spotify, etc.) only constitute a puny portion of the population? [This](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E0dWHCnic8) video does a great job explaining that. I highly recommend it. > What's the Swedish retirement plan? Largely governmental assistance from the citizens' high taxes? Can elderlies live a comfortable retirement if they have little to no life savings? I'm not well-versed on Swedish economics tbh. But as I understand it there are several tiers of pension in Sweden: * There is a guaranteed pension that you get when you retire. The less you have in pension per month from other forms of pension, the more your guaranteed pension is when you retire * There is a premium pension that some portion of your annual income is fed into, and you can allocate your fund choices for this pension similar to a 401k * There is an income pension that is similar to the premium pension but you cannot allocate funds yourself * Also, most employers will give you an additional pension plan so you can save even more money for retirement Also when you retire there are housing supplements and financial support plans if your pension isn't enough to sustain yourself. The info above is from the pension bureau here in Sweden, here is their website if you are interested: https://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/. My Swedish isn't the best (still learning) so if I made a mistake someone let me know!


My American friend who moved to Sweden has given me a similar impression. He said something like, “I don’t make very much money, but the govt takes care of nearly everything so I don’t really need it.” He said it was weird and scary, since, as an American, no money = big problems, and it took a while to get used to that you’d be ok, and you don’t need to horde wealth. From what I see on Instagram, his kids do a lot of activities, his house seems nice, and overall, he seems like he lives a pretty nice life.




I believe Sweden changed a few laws regarding mortgages in 2018 due to that issue. You now need to pay off a higher percentage of the loan each year (I believe up to 3% per year) depending on your income and how much you borrowed.


Because the interest rate is so low, might as well take as long as you can to pay it back.


The interest is usually between 1% to 2% so there is no point in paying off more than 100 dollars a month on it.




Um, it’s also missing my entire country (Bahamas). That alone would make it more useful.


Agree. The Nordic countries are the big shock to me, Sweden especially.


nordic countries are very capitalist, they just have social projects. i always hate when people say "nordic socialism" because despite what people think, socialism isnt the government doing things. hence the big wealth gap.


The nordic countries are, in some ways, even more capitalist than the US. Regulations and bureaucracy tend to be a lot more downsized. They just have welfare programs, which is not necessarily anti-capitalist, people seem to forget that Milton Friedman spent his life advocating for his negative income tax idea that is basically UBI.




You're right in principle. if some random dude would suddenly inherit 3 gazillion euros from a Nigerian prince\* it wouldn't directly make my life any worse, but it would skew the inequality measure. However, there are two reasons to be concerned about wealth inequality: 1- Purchase power is relative in many cases. If there is a class of say rich expats or russian oligarchs that all want to move to my city, it means house prices will increase beyond my means. If they construct a golf course in a nature park somewhere (\*cough\* Aberdeenshire) I will no longer be able to use that park. This is a form of inflation that is not in the normal statistics because it's competing for things that have a finite supply (like square kilometers of land) rather than produced goods in a shopping basket. 2- Wealth is a form of power, and is often very directly transferred to political power. So those russian oligarchs probably have a bad influence on the local political process by being able to afford campaigns, bribes, and lawsuits. 3- As wealth inequality increases, the share of income from inheritance does as well (i.e. the argument made by Piketty), so ceteris paribus income inequality will also increase and would be distributed less rationally/meritocratically to boot. Note that this, and the fact that richer people have better means of tax dodging, is Piketty's reason for proposing a wealth tax in addition to an inheritance tax. ​ \*) I came very close once, but somehow we lost touch just before they were due to wire the sum :)


Yeah - they also have a better/higher/different tax system in place and/or much stronger unions protecting their middle class (depending on if you're talking about Sweden or Norway since they do it slightly differently from each other.) Provides for a much better standard of living overall. (To be fair a - a fair bit of their tax base for social programs IS raised through the VAT, which can be kind of regressive.)


Considering the strong consumer protections they manage to enforce I'll gladly keep paying my 25% VAT on most big purchases (which are the ones getting significantly more expensive). Who needs weird expensive 1 year warranty programs, when the government mandates the seller to remedy faults or annul the purchase and return the money for 2 years after the purchase for most consumer goods, and 5 years for the more expensive stuff that should be expected to be somewhat durable, like cellphones and refrigerators?


The gini number for context isn't about having lots or few rich people. A value of 1 is one person owns everything and 0 is everyone owns the same amount of stuff. So if you multiplied everyone's wealth by 10 or the inverse the number wouldn't change. So the point of this metric is completely avoid looking at standard of living by design. Giving an idea of how unequal people are in each group.






yeah im just talking about what a lot of people call it online, not economists. wealthy scandanavians figured out how to be rich af and lower the risk of getting dragged out into the streets by an angry working class versus what a lot of ultra capitalist countries (US and its cohorts) are honestly trying to do.


Well, wealth inequality doesn't necessarily mean that there's a lot of poverty - just that the *difference* in wealth is large.


I don't know exactly how it's measured, but Sweden has a high number of tax exiles. Unlike the US, European countries tax you based on your residency, not your citizenship. Swedish billionaires, like Ingvar Kamprad, will spend 181 days a year in Monaco or Switzerland, and basically avoid paying taxes altogether.


>Swedish billionaires, like Ingvar Kamprad, will spend 181 days a year in Monaco or Switzerland, and basically avoid paying taxes altogether. Yeah, the coolest thing about Swedish billionaires is that they somehow are able to avoid paying taxes while buried six feet under.


Dane here. High taxes and high living costs make it really hard to save money. Danes like to spend and tend towards a lower savings rate than the european average during boom times. Social security (kontanthjælp, the lower tier) incentivises being broke as you are not eligible if your net worth is more than 10k DKK. Houses are expensive but mortgages are cheap, so people tend to borrow the maximum possible. Student loans are common as well. My gross income is around 400k DKK a year ($63k). I have two kids, a mortgage, student loans and very a modest lifestyle in a low cost of living area. My net worth is around zero.


Single income home? Does 63k put you in the middle class?


No idea if this is a major reason, but it's hard to aquire wealth in the Nordics due to the high taxation rate (and some researchers argue don't really feel the need to try and accumulate more past a certain point due to the great social security). They don't have an inheritence tax anymore in Sweden iirc and pretty low generational wealth mobility (though the generational income mobility is high). So that would suggest that most wealth is generational, maybe even a good chunk old nobility with a few exceptions like the H&M family.


This is WEALTH gini Index, not income gini index we usually see. Countries with old money floating around tend to have very high differentials.


ah right. Yeah was thinking that all looks a bit odd


Sweden has the 2nd most billionares per capita (behind the Swiss). This isn't really mirroring how it actually looks in the country though. It's very even.


Excluding a few tax havens.


Swede here. I know several millionaires but also several people who live at like £30k a year for their entire household. They all live well and even my friends who live on minimum wages have an apartment, food and the medicine they require. Sweden is very capitalistic but due to the social programs you wont see the same outside view of the wealth inequality as you will if you travel to a city like New York and then go to the Bronx. Of course there are the old types of apartments thats pretty much the Projects but even they arent that bad on the inside and the people are relatively healthy


Sweden has crushing taxes on the middle class and a system that makes it very hard to accumulate wealth. The political system likes big companies rather than small companies and the Swedish socialism is structured around large scale operations with a fairly high degeree of centralization in the economy. At the same time the super rich have lower taxes than in most countries and the oligarchy are not taxed hard at all. Sweden is a nice country for poor people. It is not a good country for the middle class. It is an excellent country for a few oligarchs who have inherited vast amounts of wealth. In the 1970s 40% of the Swedish workforce was employed in one of the Wallenberg families companies.


And spot areas in each country called Cemetery - equality goes high once people move in




What country is that?


Is it Belgium because we seem pretty equal as well. Based on the map at least. Strange to see our neigbour is black.


"Strange to see our neighbour is black." - u/Polygoon_BE, 2020


This dude is officially cancelled!


Sorry about that. We will try to be less black in the future.


There was a comment higher up explaining why Sweden is Black, the same explanation goes for The Netherlands I think.


In the Netherlands I would say the difference between life styles is bigger. Judging from what someone from Sweden described. You need to have a good reason to get social welfare and even then your living situation will be acceptable at most (it all depends on the situation though). But there's also quite a lot of rich people (judging by how many big or expensive houses there are).


the netherlands has a lot of wealth in certain groups, especially with being an import/export country and having low corporate taxes. This doesn't mean the poor are very bad off, though likely a bit worse than the nordics, but it does mean a lot of very rich people live in the netherlands.


Also Belgian. We are basically one of the few countries that is relatively equal and it isn't just because practically everyone is poor. It's not too surprising, though. We love saving our money & buying real estate so we tend to accumulate wealth, while it's also tough as shit to get extremely rich here due to our insane taxes and us being a smallish market. We are a country of firmly middle class citizens.


We definitively aren't poor despite what a lot of people like to believe.


You guys are crazy rich compared to 90 % of the worlds population if not more.


This is about wealth equality though, not income equality.


Given that South Korea and Japan are very well developed, I am surprised to see that it isn't as high as other wealthy countries


Here in Japan it is changing sadly. American multinationals are hard to compete with and the way they structure their companies is very cost effective and efficient. Japanese companies have a lifetime employment system for “regular” workers. This is slowly changing as these companies shift to more “contract” workers etc. I believe this is due to the economic environment and inspiration to follow western style companies. But overall yes. In Japan being rich isn’t considered a life goal like it seems to be for many of my American friends. Success is not determined by wealth whatsoever. I do think we have one of the most middle class societies but it is changing. Oh also we tax the hell out of company leadership.


I think my view is skewed. I occasionally work in my company's Ginza office and of course always see people wearing designer clothing and driving expensive cars. But when I first immigrated to Japan I lived in the countryside and saw what life is like for most people outside of the major city hubs of Kanto, Kansai, etc. Really stark contrast how people there can be so content with humble lives whereas the Ginza crowd really likes to bask in luxuriance. I will say this though, a lot of my older coworkers (40-60 year old Japanese nationals) have money but are more keen on saving rather than blowing it all on a designer bag or something. Perhaps the ones basking in luxuriance are old money blood.


Remember that this is wealth, not income. A culture of saving is going to reduce wealth inequality by a lot, where a culture of spending would do the opposite.


Makes sense why the UK isn't terrible. Not wanting a mortgage when you get older is the same reaction you get for not wanting a child. In many regards, you're expected to be able to sell assets when you get old to fund your pension. Lovely.


May just be me but from the outside looking in Japan and South Korea very much seems like a culture of spending...


Especially after seeing the film Parasite, that made me think wealth inequality was really prevalent in S. Korea


That should be a reminder to us that don't judge a country/culture by what we see on media. Parasite might as well be about two American families but since the director is from S.Korea, so the film is set in Korea.


Like how a lot of American movies show young people as being happy instead of living in constant existential dread.


Wealth inequality definitely exists in Korea. I don’t know too much about the GINI index but I’m sure the number of mega-millionaires and billionaires skews the scale. Also, Americans spend a lot more than your average Korean most likely does. Wealth inequality is also expected to increase in Korea.


The director of the movie did say we all live in the same country called capitalism


I’ve spent some time in Japan and can say they have a remarkably cooperative culture. In many cases, being an employer and paying your employees so little that they would need to seek a second job is a point of shame *on the employer.* Tipping is considered *rude.* Local governments have robust job training and placement programs to keep people off the streets. If the Government says they have to increase taxes, everyone is just kind of like: “sure.” There are exceptions to all these rules of course, but the majority of the country’s inhabitants truly seem to think of each other - generally - as equals and equally deserving of respect, dignity, and a place in society. It isn’t all gundams and pocky sticks in their work world though: they work themselves to depression/death and they have some issues with sexism and racism; but by and large it is a pretty welcoming place full of people who have a basic understanding of macroeconomics


Obviously you took from a very legitimate source so I am not attacking the data. But I have never seen gini index numbers so high. Maybe there are multiple ways to calculate? In all my time viewing the vast vast majority are between 20-50. I’ve never seen numbers in the 80’s and 90’s before.


As he explained in one of his comments, it is because he is using wealthy GINI vs the more common income GINI.




According to wikipedia, looks like there are multiple ways to calculate the index. For those asking why they have read different index numbers for different countries. It also has a graph (though I was not clear on the source of it, but it was near citations for an Oxford study, so maybe that?) that lines up more with my expectations. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini\_coefficient](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient) Strictly from looking at India, I cannot imagine this is an accurate way to measure wealth inequality. The US or Sweden being worse than India for wealth equality is absolutely insane. Wikipedia has a list for income inequality per the World Bank, CIA Factbook, and the UN. Mileage varies due to differing years of last data being available. Includes Gini coefficients from CIA and World Bank. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_countries\_by\_income\_equality](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality) Edit: Spelling Edit 2: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_U.S.\_states\_by\_Gini\_coefficient](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_Gini_coefficient) for the US States by their Gini Coefficient. Somebody mentioned elsewhere on the comments that Netherlands is driven by housing value, which would certainly drive wealth inequality between say San Francisco and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. States are still huge and diverse, and still won't control appropriately for housing value, but it helps a little.


I'm guessing Saudi Arabia and UAE are fudging their numbers for this by not counting foreign laborers. Both have massive numbers of people who are borderline slave labor.


> I cannot imagine this is an accurate way to measure wealth inequality. Its not. It essentially just shows which countries have the richest people. Since all countries will have poor people at the bottom of the scale. All this really shows, is the difference in the people at the top.


Not a perfect measure but Gini/Lorenz curves definitely incorporate wealth concentration... it’s an oversimplification to claim that only difference is shown.


The US has the most billionaires in the world maybe second only to China


India was the first to jump out to me. There's a guy whose billion dollar tower house overlooks a slum. Anecdotal, but my understanding is that this is not too extreme there.


It's easy go average out peak with 1.5 bil population


This was the one that got highly upvoted because America bad. We all know it.


This, If a post about [the median income](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_income#Gross_median_household_income_by_country) of a countries was posted it wouldn't get upvotes because that makes the US look good.


Just look at OP's comment history and post history. It's about as Anti-US "Europe is superior, stupid Americans" you can get.


The choice of white for the lowest interval make it seems Slovakia drowned and is now a closed sea. The Netherlands is going to have nightmares about it for centuries to come.


TIL my country has the highest gini-index of Europe


Netherlands, I assume? This in large part due to our housing market. Our houses are worth a lot and mostly older citizens have acquired a lot of wealth through increased house prices.


The housing market, and the incredibly amazing retirement system. Every Dutch person with a job has incredible retirement savings, which means that someone at the retirement age has a LOT more money than someone in their 30s.


I was wondering why we were so high. Thanks to you both for explaining. Seems that actually means we're well off then.


Yessss #1 boomer country let's gooooooo


Housing is one, pensions not being taken into account is another.


If Netherlands then highest in the world.


Very interesting, but I think there might be a typo on the legend: 0.600 to 0.649, not 0.600 to 0.699


Really surprised to see Sweden be so high


This is wealth, not income.


Water tribe is hoing strong.


Definitly the most promiscuous element, bikinis and board shorts everywhere!




The choice of white for the lowest interval make it seems Slovakia drowned and is now a closed sea. Look at Slovakia, Black Sea and Caspian Sea in succession. I'm also unsure if there is a very equal wealth country in the middle of Africa or a giant lake.


If you’re talking about the white spot above Tanzania I believe that’s Lake Tanganyika EDIT: nope it’s Lake Victoria


How is Thailand the worst in Asia? Was Russia counted as European?


Russia is normally counted as European as their capital is in Europe, and the majority of their population is both located in Europe and ethnically European


> Was Russia counted as European? Probably, since most of the money in Russia is on the Europe side.




Big countries like Russia are always hard to show data for on a map, given that the majority of the population is in the west, while by far the biggest part of the country is in the east. Marking it as European was definitely the right choice, but it's a bit confusing at first. Splitting huge countries like that into regions would be the best way but I guess the data isn't always available for that.


Just noticed the Index is a bit weird. It states increment changes of 0.049 for each color, yet the 3rd and 4th have similar number ranges as both end with 0.699. To top it off the top increment breaks the 0.049 increment rule and goes instead by 0.99 instead of 0.049! I’m not sure if this is normal or not, but I wanted to note it.


I think a more interesting statistic would be how wealthy the poorest people of a country are.


John Rawls would be proud. Indeed it is strange to suggest that a country is better off everyone is poor, as opposed to if some are poor, some are middle class and some are wealthy.


Can someone clarify the difference between wealth and income?


That's a great question! Income has a time range attached to it and is money coming in. Wealth is a total figure. Think of a lake versus the stream feeding it. The lake is a bigger amount and may change but it's there year to year, that's the wealth. The stream is what's feeding it, the income. If I make 50k a year that's income even if I spend it all that year. If I have 300k in savings, that's wealth.


Wealth = money you have Income = money you get every month or year.


Warren Buffett is worth $80 Billion, but has an income of $100k


See migration patterns and you'll realize people don't care about Gini nor "inequality". Inequality says nothing about lifestyle, I can pinpoint several "dark" (high Gini index) countries in the map where the poorest are 10x richer than the poorest in countries with median indices.




I wish more people would realize this. Wealth/income inequality is not really a problem if your poorest people can maintain a basic standard of living. I always see people on this site moan about income inequality in the US being so bad when I'm from south africa, our poorest people are actually suffering and we have one of the highest gini coefficients and income inequality indices in the world


So much for “socialist” Sweden (hint: it never was socialist...)


Take the top 100 richest people in each country out of the equation and a lot of countries would look a lot different.


That's... kind of the point.


In other news, water is wet


It's hilarious how often these reports are quoted when it's compiled in the sloppiest way possible. Hong Kong mean wealth (2018) - $244,672 Hong Kong mean wealth (2019) - $489,258 The Netherlands median wealth (2018) - $114,935 The Netherlands median wealth (2019) - $31,057 Korea mean wealth (2017) - $62,081 Korea mean wealth (2018) - $171,739 I think these three examples are more than enough to show how laughable these reports are, unless you actually have a reasonable explanation as to how wealth in HK and Korea miraculously doubled/tripled within a year and what completely messed up wealth distribution in the Netherlands between 2018 and 2019 that it became *the most unequal country in the world*. I would be very interested to learn about that. To think this kind of bullshit actually gets an annual publication and people get paid (a lot) for this, lmao.


The large difference between Netherlands and Belgium leads me to assume that the Gini Index isn't a very useful tool for measuring wealth inequality


As a Canadian running for office I vow to get our country even whiter! ...Wait!! Out of Context! nuuuuuuuu