The concept of inequality is distinct from that of poverty and fairness. **Income inequality metrics** or **income distribution metrics** are used by social scientists to measure the distribution of income, and economic inequality among the participants in a particular economy, such as that of a specific country or of the world in general. While different theories may try to explain how income inequality comes about, income inequality metrics simply provide a system of measurement used to determine the dispersion of incomes.

**Income distribution** has always been a central concern of economic theory and economic policy. Classical economists such as Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo were mainly concerned with factor income distribution, that is, the distribution of income between the main factors of production, land, labour and capital. It is often related to wealth distribution although separate factors influence wealth inequality.

Modern economists have also addressed this issue, but have been more concerned with the distribution of income across individuals and households. Important theoretical and policy concerns include the relationship between income inequality and economic growth. The article Economic inequality discusses the social and policy aspects of income distribution questions.

Read more about Income Inequality Metrics: Defining Income, Properties of Inequality Metrics, Common Income Inequality Metrics, Ratios, Spreadsheet Computations, Proper Use of Income Inequality Metrics, Inequality, Growth, and Progress

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