The standard measurement for income inequality, it ranges from 0 (perfect equality) to 100 (perfect inequality). The U.S.’s Gini index rose from 29.9 in 1979 to 37.3 in 2010 (Luxembourg Income Study, 2010).
Contrast this with Venezuela: In 1997, the year before Chávez was elected, the country’s Gini index stood at 50.7; in 13 short years, it had fallen more than 11 points to 39.4 (UN, 2010). Rising U.S. inequality has almost met Venezuela’s falling inequality, such that the two countries now have similar gaps between rich and poor.
Kean Bhatt. "Fear of a Venezuelan Example". Extra! Dec. 2012 http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/fear-of-a-venezuelan-example/