442 PART SIX THE ECONOMICS OF LABOR MARKETS are ranked from the most equal to the most unequal. On the top of the list is Germany, where the richest fifth of the population has income only about 4 times that of the poorest fifth. On the bottom of the list is Brazil, where the richest fifth has income about 25 times that of the poorest fifth. Although all countries have substantial inequality in income, the degree of inequality is not the same everywhere. When countries are ranked by inequality, the United States ends up slightly behind the middle of the pack. Compared to other economically advanced countries, such as Germany and Canada, the United States has substantial in-equality. But the United States has a more equal income distribution than many developing countries, such as Chile and Brazil. THE POVERTY RATE A commonly used gauge of the distribution of income is the poverty rate. The poverty rate is the percentage of the population whose family income falls below an absolute level called the
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