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Russia: Gap between Rich and Poor narrows to 22x

The income gap between the 10% highest-paid and lowest-paid in Russia has been narrowing since last year. According to a Rosstat review base on data from April of this year and published yesterday, it has fallen from 25.3 times to 22.1 times.

The number of people receiving salaries under 2600 rubles per month has been reduced by 1.8 times (from 4.9 million to 2.8 million), while the number of those receiving more than 75,000 rubles increased 1.7 times (from 132,000 to 225,000). Those figures are based on the 65% of the working population (33.4 million people) covered by the Rosstat survey. It can be extrapolated from those data that the total number of low earners is 4-5 million, and of high earners up to 400,000. In April, the average wage in Russia was 12,500 rubles  ($483) per month. Sixty-eight percent of the working population receives less than that amount. Rosstat explains the reduction in income gap as a result of increases in the wages of the country’s lowest paid workers. A difference of 22 times is, nonetheless, extreme by European standards.

In Scandinavia, the gap is 6 times; in the United States, it is 10 times, and in Japan, 9 times. In Moscow, the range is even more extreme than the national average. In 2006, the highest-paid 10% of workers made 41 times more than the lowest-paid. That indicator dropped to 33.8 times in the H1 of this year, without taking seasonal fluctuations into account. (kommersant.com)