Along the horizontal axis of the graph, the Gini index shows the extent to which income (or, in some cases, consumption) among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Gini index of zero represents perfect equality while a Gini index of 100 means extreme inequality. The data come from nationally representative household surveys and refer to different years between 1983-85 and 1998-99. 

For more on the relationship between inequality and growth, see my recent papers with Gylfi Zoega, "Education, social equality, and economic growth: A view of the landscape"  and "Inequality and economic growth: Do natural resources matter?,"and the associated slide shows (show 1; show 2). 

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