According to a survey conducted by Lembaga Survei Indonesia (LSI) most Indonesians believe that Indonesian society is characterized by a high degree of income distribution inequality. Over 90 percent of respondents see income inequality in Indonesia, while about 40 percent of respondents believe there is no equality at all regarding income distribution in Indonesia. With the gap between the country’s rich and poor widening, social cohesion and higher economic growth are at stake in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
11 November 2019 (closed)
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The World Bank said that the widening of income distribution inequality in Indonesia grew at the second fastest pace among Asian countries in the past two decades. Based on the World Bank’s Indonesia Economic Quarterly (IEQ) report, Indonesia recorded the second fastest Gini coefficient increase after China. In the period 1990-2011, the Gini coefficient of Indonesia rose by an average of 0.5 percentage point per year. This is a serious matter as social cohesion and economic growth can be jeopardized by increased inequality within Indonesian society.
The Gini ratio of Indonesia - the coefficient that measures inequality in income distribution - is expected to improve slightly this year as commodity prices have a stable outlook. Based on data from Statistics Indonesia, the ratio increased significantly since the country's Reformasi period. Between 1999 and 2013, it rose from 0.31 percent to 0.41 percent (a coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, while one implies perfect inequality). In the last three years (2011- 2013), however, the ratio remained stable at 0.41 percent.
The Indonesian government should take more action to reverse the country's widening income distribution inequality. Indonesia's Gini ratio, the coefficient that measures inequality among income distribution, has risen in 2013 according to economist Lana Soelistianingsih. The Gini coefficient rose from 0.37 in 2012 to 0.41 in 2013 (a coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, while one implies maximal inequality). The growth not only shows that the Indonesian government fails to tackle this problem but also implies social risks.
On 2 July 2013, the World Bank released its July edition of the Indonesia Economic Quarterly. The report, titled Adjusting to Pressures, touches on the key developments over the past three months in Indonesia’s economy and places these in a longer term and global context. It regularly updates the outlook for the country’s economy and social welfare, and provides a more in-depth examination of selected economic and policy topics, as well as analyses of medium term development challenges.
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