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’ (In this case families are the unit of analysis.) If every family had the same income, the first 5 per cent of families would have 5 per cent of all income, the first 10 per cent would have 10 per cent of all income, and so on.
These points, plotted on the graph, would form a straight line (a gradient of one for one) on the diagonal at 45 degrees, This is the line of complete equality.
Currently, almost all of the distributional information available on Povcal Net is based directly on data from household surveys – one reason for the slightly “bumpy” appearance of the two charts below.
Another popular approach to estimating Lorenz curves is to assume that the Lorenz curve corresponding to the distribution of income or consumption in the country of interest follows a particular functional form that is known to provide a close approximation to the income distribution in many countries.
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MEAN AND MEDIAN Mean household income (average household income) and median household income (the midpoint when all persons or households are ranked in ascending order of household income) are simple indicators that can be used to show income differences between subgroups of the population.
In the hypothetical example shown in Figure 5, the cumulated percentage of income recipients is plotted against the cumulated percentage of total income, for two separate time periods.
In each case, the researcher is posing the question ‘What proportion of total income is received by 5 per cent, 10 per cent, 15 per cent (and so on) of all income recipients?
The data are summarized at the World Bank’s web site.
To construct the Lorenz curve, we focus on a table showing the cumulative share of Brazil’s total income received by the poorest 1% of individuals (namely 0.01%), by the poorest 2% (0.06%), the poorest 3% (0.14%), and so on up to the “poorest” 99% (88.69%).