Income - Inequality (GINI Index)

This indicator reports income inequality using the Gini coefficient. Gini index values range between zero and one. A value of one indicates perfect inequality where only one house-hold has any income. A value of zero indicates perfect equality, where all households have equal income. Index values are acquired from the 2011-15 American Community Survey and are not available for custom report areas or multi-county areas.
Report Area Total Households Gini Index Value
Franklin County, PA 58,570 0.4
Pennsylvania 4,958,859 0.47
United States 116,926,205 0.48
Note: This Indicator is compared with the state average. Green - Better than state average, Red - Worse than state average.
Data Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey. 2011-2015. Source geography: Tract

Website Updated December 11 2017 Site Reviewed January 05 2018

Income - Inequality (GINI Index)

Data Background

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide, continuous survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, housing, social, and economic data. The ACS samples nearly 3 million addresses each year, resulting in nearly 2 million final interviews. The ACS replaces the long-form decennial census; however, the number of household surveys reported annually for the ACS is significantly less than the number reported in the long-form decennial census. As a result, the ACS combines detailed population and housing data from multiple years to produce reliable estimates for small counties, neighborhoods, and other local areas. Negotiating between timeliness and accuracy, the ACS annually releases current, one-year estimates for geographic areas with large populations; three-year and five-year estimates are also released each year for additional areas based on minimum population thresholds.

Citation: U.S. Census Bureau: A Compass for Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data (2008).

For more information about this source, including data collection methodology and definitions, refer to the American Community Survey website.


Counts of total households GINI index values are acquired from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Data represent estimates for the 5 year period 2011-2015. Mapped data are summarized to 2010 census tract boundaries. This indicator reports income inequality in the US using the GINI index. The Census Bureau defines the Gini index as “a statistical measure of income inequality ranging from 0 to 1. A measure of 1 indicates perfect inequality, i.e., one household having all the income and rest having none. A measure of 0 indicates perfect equality, i.e., all households having an equal share of income.”

This indicator draws directly from reported data and cannot be re-summarized to custom report areas. For multi-county areas, the average population-weighted GINI index value is reported. For a complete analysis of the original ACS Gini index data, see the Census Brief: Household Income Inequality Within U.S. Counties.


Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity (Hispanic origin) are collected as two separate categories in the American Community Survey (ACS) based on methods established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1997. Indicator race and ethnicity statistics are generated from self-identified survey responses. Using the OMB standard, the available race categories in the ACS are: White, Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, and Other. An ACS survey respondent may identify as one race alone, or may choose multiple races. Respondents selecting multiple categories are racially identified as “Two or More Races”. The minimum ethnicity categories are: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino. Respondents may only choose one ethnicity. All social and economic data are reported in the ACS public use files by race alone, ethnicity alone, and for the white non-Hispanic population.

Courtesy: Community Commons, <>, November 2017