Standardized World Income Inequality Database , SWIID



Cross-national research on the causes and consequences of income inequality has been hindered by the limitations of existing inequality datasets: greater coverage across countries and over time is available from these sources only at the cost of significantly reduced comparability across observations. The goal of the Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIID) is to overcome these limitations. A custom missing-data algorithm was used to standardize the United Nations University's World Income Inequality Database and data from other sources; data collected by the Luxembourg Income Study served as the standard. The SWIID provides comparable Gini indices of gross and net income inequality for 192 countries for as many years as possible from 1960 to the present along with estimates of uncertainty in these statistics. By maximizing comparability for the largest possible sample of countries and years, the SWIID is better suited to broadly cross-national research on income inequality than previously available sources: it offers coverage double that of the next largest income inequality dataset, and its record of comparability is three to eight times better than those of alternate datasets.

Data Providers

Harvard Dataverse

Data Collection

Periodicity of collection

Years covered by the data differ per country.

Type of information available

  • Text Documents Available
  • Indicators available
  • Guidelines for use available
  • Search or browse function available online


Freely accessible without registration

DOI number:

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