The disposable income gap between Taiwan's highest and lowest income earning households widened slightly in 2015, with the top 20 percent earning 6.06 times what the bottom 20 percent made, according to government statistics released Friday.
It was the first time in six years that the household income gap widened rather than narrowed, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.
In 2014, the disposable household income of Taiwan's richest families was 6.05 times greater than the disposable income of the poorest families.
The latest statistics from the government agency showed that the average disposable income of the top 20 percent of households was NT$1.94 million (US$61,318) in 2015, up 1.03 percent from the previous year.
In comparison, the disposable income of the bottom 20 percent households averaged NT$320,000, up 1 percent from 2014, due to the government's continued efforts to provide various subsidies for low-income families, according to the DGBAS.
Taiwan's Gini coefficient, one of the most commonly used measures to reflect income inequality, rose 0.002 to 0.338 in 2015, the DGBAS figures showed. The coefficient ranges between 0 (complete equality) and 1 (complete inequality).
Total household disposable income in Taiwan was NT$10.27 trillion in 2015, up 2.1 percent from the previous year. Average disposable income was NT$965,000 per household, 0.8 percent higher than in the previous year, and NT$311,000 per person, a 2.5 percent increase from 2014, according to the DGBAS figures.
Source: Focus Taiwan