OTTAWA - A new study says Canada is rapidly catching up to the United States as a country divided between haves and have-nots.

Conference Board says income inequality has been rising more in Canada
than in the United States since the mid-1990s, and faster than in many
peer countries.

In fact, the think-tank says Canada had the
fourth-largest increase in income disparity among a sample group of 17
advanced economies during the period.


Overall, income inequality rose in 10 of the countries sampled, rising fastest in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

was next. It's Gini index, a complicated formula which measures income
deviations away from a perfectly equal distribution, rose 9.2 per cent
to 0.320.

By contrast, the U.S. had the highest income inequality of the group with a Gini reading of 0.378.

Conference Board notes that Canada's index number put it in group of
countries considered to have a medium range of income inequality.

A reading above 0.4 would designate high levels of income inequality.

Overall, the Conference Board says income inequality has increased for 71 per cent of the world's population.

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