Mon, Aug 20, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Divide between rich and poor narrows: DGBAS

POSITIVE GROWTH:The average income of the nation’s poorest families increased by 2.7 percent annually last year, the agency’s report showed

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

The average disposable income of the nation’s richest families last year was 6.07 times as much as that of the poorest families, slightly lower than the ratio of 6.08 in 2016, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said in a report on Friday.

If social welfare subsidies and tax benefits for low-income families are excluded, the ratio between the highest-income group and the lowest-income group would have been 7.25, the DGBAS said.

The ratio was 7.28 in 2016, it said.

Meanwhile, the Gini coefficient — a measure of wealth distribution where zero describes equality and one describes complete inequality — edged up 0.001 points to 0.337 last year, the DGBAS said.

The agency has conducted an annual survey of family income and expenditure since 1964 to keep tabs on wealth distribution.

The survey divides families into five brackets in terms of annual disposable income, with the top 20 percent defined as the richest and the bottom 20 percent as the poorest.

The latest survey found that the average income of the richest families was NT$2.053 million (US$66,652) last year, up 2.4 percent year-on-year, while that of the poorest families was NT$338,000, an increase of 2.7 percent from the previous year, the report said.

In terms of per capita income, the average income of the nation’s richest people last year was 3.89 times that of the poorest. The ratio was flat from the previous year, but down from 4.29 in 2011, it said.

Last year, total disposable household income was NT$11.06 trillion, up 4.4 percent from the previous year.

Average disposable income was NT$1.019 million per household, 2.6 percent higher than the prior year, and NT$332,000 per person, an annual increase of 2.6 percent, the report said.

The median income per household was NT$881,000 last year, up 2.7 percent year-on-year, and the figure per person was NT$284,00, up 2.6 percent annually, the report said.

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