Canada is among the developed countries that do the least to reduce income inequality, according to an analysis from Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum.

Drum looked at the degree of income inequality before taxes and government transfers, and compared those numbers to the degree of income inequality after taxes and transfers, for various developed countries.

Not surprisingly, he found the U.S. was worst when it came to ironing out inequality. Taxes and government transfers reduce inequality by about 26 per cent in the U.S.

But Canada fared little better, coming in third, tied with Australia and behind Israel, out of 22 countries surveyed. Canadian governments reduce inequality by about 31 per cent, Drum found.

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  • Poland: 45% (MOST)

    Poland does the most to reduce income inequality, out of 22 countries surveyed. Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Ireland: 44%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Sweden: 42%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • The Netherlands: 42%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Denmark: 41%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Austria: 40%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Germany: 40%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Finland: 40%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Luxembourg: 38%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Greece: 37%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Slovak Republic: 35%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Norway: 35%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • United Kingdom: 35%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Spain: 33%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Australia: 31%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Canada: 31%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • Israel: 29%

    Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • United States: 26% (LEAST)

    The U.S. does the least to reduce inequality, of 22 countries surveyed. Number represents percentage change in degree of inequality before and after taxes and government transfers. Sources: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/america-stingiest-rich-country-world">Kevin Drum</a>, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/inequality-america">Janet Gornick</a>

  • ALSO ON HUFFPOST: OECD COUNTRIES WITH THE WORST INCOME INEQUALITY

  • 10. Japan

    A poor Japanese man pushes a cart in downtown Tokyo on March 2, 2010. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 9. Greece

    A woman holds a cardboard reading in Greek 'I' m hungry' on March 17, 2011 in central Athens. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 8. Spain

    A man looks for food in garbage container on January 15, 2013 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife. (DESIREE MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 7. U.K.

    On the day that Britain officially enters a recession, a homeless man walks the streets on January 23, 2009 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • 6. Portugal

    Hunter Halder walks toward his bicycle loaded with food that he collect in restaurants on October 21, 2011 in Lisbon. Every night, Hunter Halder, a 60 years old american leaving in Portugal, mounts his bike and toured the restaurants where he gets the food he distributes to the poor of Lisbon, hit hard by the severe economic crisis in Portugal. (PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 5. Israel

    Thousands of Israelis gather to protest against the cost of living in Israel, in Jerusalem Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

  • 4. U.S.

    A man walks down the street collecting cans on October 20, 2011 in Reading, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • 3. Turkey

    Children play on the garbage heap in Hasankeyf a small poverty stricken town on the banks of the Tigris on April 10, 2010. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 2. Mexico

    A family inside their house made with carboard at the edge of a ravine in a poor zone of Mexico city , on July 24, 2012. (OMAR TORRES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 1. Chile

    Photo: In this June 14, 2012 photo, a man leaves his home in a horse drawn cart to begin his work day of recycling trash in an area where families live in extreme poverty in the Puente Alto sector of Santiago, Chile. (AP Photo/Victor Ruiz Caballero)

Drum’s data is based on income inequality research carried out by Janet Gornick, a professor of political science at the City University of New York, whose work appeared in this recent New Yorker article.

Some interesting tidbits from Gornick’s research: U.S. incomes before taxes and transfers are surprisingly equal — pre-tax inequality is roughly the same in the U.S. as in Sweden or Norway.

But the U.S.’s tax system, which provides all sorts of loopholes for the wealthy, does far less than Sweden’s (or anyone else’s) tax code to reduce inequality. Thus the U.S. ends up with the highest after-tax income inequality, despite being naturally no more unequal than other countries.

In Canada, our pre-tax incomes are slightly more equal than the U.S. or Sweden. On that measure, Canada ranks 13th of 22 countries — right in the middle of the pack.

But when taxes and transfers are taken into account, Canada shoots up on the inequality rankings, and becomes the fourth most unequal of 22 countries, behind the U.S., Israel and the U.K. (See chart below.)

That means Canadian policies do far less than the policies of most other countries to reduce inequality.

Canada’s tax reforms of recent years have largely favoured corporations. The federal corporate tax rate has been nearly cut in half since 2000 -- from 28 per cent at the turn of the century to 15 per cent in 2012. Personal income tax brackets have fallen only slightly during that time.

Opposition politicians have been criticizing the government for hiking EI premiums to $2,138 this year from $1,706 in 2008. Some call it a hidden tax hike that primarily affects low- and middle-income earners. (EI premiums are capped, with everyone earning more than $47,000 paying the same amount.)

A 2007 study from the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that, after years of tax cuts, Canada’s one per cent wealthiest families pay a lower effective tax rate than the country's poorest 10 per cent of families.

Here is Gornick’s chart of measuring inequality, before and after taxes and transfers.

The numbers are each country’s Gini coefficient — the standard measure of income inequality. A Gini coefficient of 0 means everyone in the country earns the same amount of money. A Gini coefficient of 1 means one person earns all the money, and no one else earns anything. Obviously, all countries are somewhere between 0 and 1.

gornick chart

CLARIFICATION: The numbers originally cited in this article as maximum EI contributions ($4,277 this year and $3,412 in 2008) are in fact the maximum EI contributions for a couple, not an individual earner. The text has been edited to include the numbers for an individual earner.