The GINI Coefficient and Segregation on a Continuous Variable.

March 2005

Jeongdai Kim, University of Texas at Dallas; Paul A. Jargowsky, University of Texas at Dallas..

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The Gini Index is a widely used measure of income inequality. It has also been used as a segregation measure, but only in the case of binary variables, e.g. race or gender. We develop a general version of the Gini Index that can accommodate either continuous or binary variables, and discuss its relationship to existing measures. Using the Public Use Microdata Sample from the 2000 Census, we illustrate the calculation of the Index and show that it is highly correlated with an existing measure of economic segregation.

Poverty Trends and Measurement, Research Methods