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Charted: Income Distributions in 16 Different Countries

Charting Income Distributions in 16 Different Countries

Throughout the 19th century, roughly 80% of the global population lived in what we’d now consider extreme poverty.

And as earnings and living conditions have improved dramatically since then, they haven’t done so evenly across the world. There are still vast income gaps, both between different countries and within them.

To highlight these global income discrepancies, this chart by Ruben Berge Mathisen shows income distributions around the world, using 2021 income data from the World Inequality Database (WID) on a per adult basis.

Global Income Distributions

This graphic shows the adult income distributions of 16 different countries in U.S. dollars, along with the world average.

On a global scale, adults making an annual income greater than $124,720 make it into the 99th percentile, meaning they make more than 99% of the worldwide population.

However, things change when you zoom in on specific countries. Here’s a look at all the countries on the list, and how much annual income is needed (at minimum) to be in the top 1%:

RegionCountryAdult income (2021, 99th percentile)
North America 🇺🇸 United States$336,953.19
North America 🇨🇦 Canada$193,035.55
North America 🇲🇽 Mexico$130,388.19
South America 🇧🇷 Brazil$115,257.86
South America 🇨🇴 Colombia$97,500.37
South America 🇦🇷 Argentina$94,794.89
Asia 🇨🇳 China$99,095.34
Asia 🇮🇳 India$65,370.51
Asia 🇮🇩 Indonesia$85,176.35
Europe 🇷🇺 Russia$124,805.86
Europe 🇩🇪 Germany$212,106.53
Europe 🇬🇧 United Kingdom$162,547.56
Africa 🇳🇬 Nigeria$53,144.36
Africa 🇪🇹 Ethiopia$24,295.66
Africa 🇪🇬 Egypt$115,546.44
Oceania 🇦🇺 Australia$164,773.40
🌎 World$124,719.60

People in America’s top 1% make at least $336,953 in annual pre-tax income. That’s more than $100,000 above the 1% of next closest countries, Germany ($212,107) and Canada ($193,036).

On the flip side, adults in Ethiopia only need to make $24,297 to fall into the country’s 99th percentile. Ethiopia is one of the poorest nations in the world—according to estimates by the World Bank, about 27% of Ethiopia’s population is thought to be currently living under the poverty line.

Income Gaps Within Countries

It is also noticeable how much income varies within each country.

One example is Colombia, which has one of the largest wealth gaps of any country on the list. The 99th percentile in Colombia is making an annual income that’s 192x higher than its 10th percentile. In contrast, an income in the 99th percentile in the United States is 83x higher than the 10th percentile.

Colombia’s high level of income inequality stems from early childhood disadvantages, such as lack of access to education, which can limit opportunities later on in life.

The post Charted: Income Distributions in 16 Different Countries appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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