According to formulas used by the U.S. Census Bureau, California's level of income inequality is fifth highest among all 50 states. (Shutterstock)
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The United States has some of the highest levels of income and wealth inequality in the world. In addition, based on the Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality based on the distribution of income across a population, income inequality varies considerably from state to state.
The Gini coefficient is a scale from 0 to 1 — 0 representing perfect equality and 1 representing the highest possible level of inequality. Nationwide, the Gini coefficient stands at 0.481.
The Gini coefficient in California is 0.487 — higher than the national average and fifth highest among all 50 states.