If the world were one country, how rich would it be? According to one measure, it’s approaching the top bracket.
The World Bank breaks countries down into four categories by gross national income: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high. The cutoffs for these categories are regularly revised but as of 2012, with a GNI of $10,015.32, the world would be in the upper-middle income bracket:” $4,086-$12,615.
But as economist David Lizoain points out in a blog post for Social Europe (via Branko Milanovic), “Over the past decade, world GNI per capita has gone from about 60% of the high income threshold to just under 80% of the threshold. The absolute difference has also been shrinking. If the world were a country, in the next few decades it should reach a point where it could be categorized as high income.” He charted the trend in the graph below:
This is partly a story of overall incomes increasing, but also a good demonstration of why national income isn’t a very good way to measure a country’s overall well-being. This increase in global income has happened at the same time that global inequality has been rapidly increasing. The fact that you live in a high-income world isn’t that much of a comfort if you still live in a low-income country.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
- NSA Is Letting its Chief Technical Officer Work 20 Hours a Week for a Private Company
- After 13 Years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Opium Production Is at an All-Time High
- The Pennsylvania Fugitive Sniper Is Still at Large After 39 Days
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years, May Only Serve Ten Months