Income inequality in Malaysia

According to the UNDP 1997 Human Development Report,[1] and the 2004 United Nations Human Development (UNHDP) report,[2] Malaysia has the highest income disparity between the rich and poor in Southeast Asia, greater than that of Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia.

A chart of Malaysia's Income disparity, 2004.

The UNHDP Report shows that the richest 10% in Malaysia control 38.4% of the economic income as compared to the poorest 10% who control only 1.7%. However, according to official statistics from the Prime Minister's Department, inequality has been decreasing steadily since 1970, with the Gini coefficient dropping to an all-time low of 0.40 in 2014.[3]

See also

  • Poverty in Malaysia


  1. Asian Analysis 1998 by Asean Focus Group Archived 22 September 2002 at the Library of Congress Web Archives, Professor Michael Leigh Director Institute of East Asian Studies University Malaysia, Sarawak.
  2. Speech at the Meeting between DAPSY National and Perak State Leaders In Teluk Intan by Lim Guan Eng Archived 18 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, If the 2004 Petronas profits of RM 35.6 billion (US$9.89 billion) were distributed to the poor, Malaysia would not have wealth distribution problems.
  3. "Table 6: Gini Coefficient by Ethnic Group, Strata and State, Malaysia, 1970–2014". Economic Planning Unit of Prime Minister's Department. 2014. Archived from the original on 1 May 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.

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