OECD: Population vs GDP, Gini

Out from nowhere, I have a curious check to see if the population (in log10 form) will have any correlation with GDP and Gini in OECD countries.

a) Population vs GDP per capita [2001]

Rsquare=0.145 at p=0.0546.
If the so-called 2 outlier points (the “+” is iceland, “x” is US) are excluded from the graph, the Rsquare will increase to 0.301 (moderately strong) at p=0.0055, as shown below:

Note: The colour of each point represent the GDP bracket: red – GDP <$ 15,000, black- $15, 000 <GDP <$25,000, blue -GDP> $ 25,000

b) Population vs Gini [2000]

Rsquare=0.162 at p=0.051. However, let’s say if Luxembourg’s point is excluded, the rsquare will increase to 0.280 (p=0.009), as shown below:

So, is there any reason for why higher population has lower GDP per capita and higher Gini, i.e. income inequality? Or should there be any explanation at all? Could it be that if the population is small, it will be more managable? I mean it could not be that because a country’s GDP is low, therefore they want higher population? Any input?


1) Population: World Bank, 2000
2) GDP per capita: OECD
3) Gini 2000: OECD


  1. August 19, 2007 at 5:03 am

    […] it is also noted that as shown earlier in previous post, the GDP per capita decrease along with increment of population (log 10) while Gini increase with […]

  2. I said,

    September 23, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    When GDP is low people won’t have a high education an d won’t know reasons not to get children or will need them to make money.
    When people are rich they want big houses which lowers the population density…

    just thoughts…

  3. Ana Veler said,

    June 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Just try to be the rich man in a village, and you’ll get your answer! 😉

    OK… this is an attempt at humor. More seriously, it would be interesting to look at the sources of demographic growth and which / whether / how they feed into either end of the income spread. Consider migration. And there is a whole lot of literature commenting on birth rates and income levels, some of it rather distasteful, admittedly.

    Just a thought…

    Some times I wonder who and how chooses to live in a more egalitarian vs. less group [not country – too big – consider the ‘tangible’ community around, whatever that might be] . Come to think of it, making any choice about this is not common: you get the odd folks who end up living in a gated community with average income way right of the median – enough to build a couple of industries providing such favours [gilded equality?], the urban clusters of immigrants [where culture or language happens not to be an issue] and more from the urban i/e-migration. I can also count a few kinds who go to great length to stand out economically against their surroundings, but just one off cases, not groups. You’d need pretty detailed income distribution charts to see this sort of things. I would be curious, but this is way of the beaten track for me and wouldn’t know where to look for such data [in the public domain, no less].

    One more: once upon a time, looking cross some EU labour legalese… it seemed that there was an odd correlation in the air: the more of personal income was PUBLIC, the higher the equality. In some places, it doesn’t take much to get your hands n your neighbor’s income tax slip, believe it or not. In those, it wouldn’t matter. Can you imagine that in NYC!? [that’d be less of a joke then the first sentence on this, but they are related]. O course, the idea remained on an ever more dusty posted note until about yesterday, when I read the same in a prominent party’s policy notes! [no surprise, the same professor is a likely source].



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