2015 July 08 Wednesday
World's Middle Class Make $10 To $20 Per Day

Do you have the earnings power of the world's middle income people?

The world’s middle-income population – people living on $10-20 per day – nearly doubled, increasing by 385 million from 2001 to 2011.

China has been lifting tons of people up into the middle class.

China alone accounted for more than half the additions to the global middle-income population from 2001 to 2011, with 203 million. Countries in South America and in Eastern Europe added 50 million and 39 million to the global middle class, respectively. By contrast, Africa and much of Asia, including India, have lagged behind.

The world's low income populations are increasing faster than the middle income populations.

While the global middle-income population has grown from 2001 to 2011, the largest increase is in the world’s low-income population. The share of people classified as low income ($2-10 per day) increased from 50% of the world’s population in 2001 to 56% in 2011, and the low-income population increased from 2.7 billion to 3.4 billion.

The people labeled as lower income are not the poor. I hear some of you voicing skepticism. Look, someone making $4 per day is making twice as much as the poorest poor person. Those lucky lower income people are making over $2 per day. Some are making up to almost $10 per day. If they can find a way to make more than $10 per day then they'll enjoy that Ozzie and Harriet middle class existence. By contrast, if you can find a way to survive on less than $2 per day you can you get yourself classified as really poor. Anyone making more than $2 per day and believe you are poor? Come on, get over your not-poor self. Are you really luxuriating at $5 or, heck, why not $8 per day? Then you are in fat city.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 July 08 08:31 PM 

Wolf-Dog said at July 9, 2015 4:08 PM:

RP: "The world's low income populations are increasing faster than the middle income populations."

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I don't have the exact numbers, but it seems to me that the world's low income populations are increasing faster than the actual world population. If true, this means that the upper classes are accumulating the wealth faster.

In 2014 China had a trade surplus against the US in excess of $343 billion. This means that the poorest 100 million Chinese families received an additional income of $3,430 per family, uplifting them from poverty.

If the US economy becomes unable to sustain this trade imbalance, the tension will be very severe in China. But the uplifting of the Chinese from poverty to middle class status, is coinciding with the downward mobility of the American middle class, always by virtue of the trade deficit.

Brett Bellmore said at July 10, 2015 3:45 AM:

I think this needs to be calibrated in terms of local prices and conditions. Wouldn't surprise me, for instance, if there were a lot of people in the Philippines, (To name a country I'm familiar with.) getting by on several dollars a day. The climate is such that you barely need something to keep the rain off, and that's it. Tropical fruit grows in the wild year round. You don't actually have to spend a lot of money on bare survival.

Contrast that with a northern clime, where for much of the year you need serious shelter, where a hunter gatherer lifestyle simply isn't feasible. This raises the level that has to be regarded as poverty, because a level of resource expenditure that would have you comfortable in the tropics wouldn't even be enough to keep you alive in areas that have real winters.

Also, there's a certain zero sum raising of wage levels, where you get paid more, but have to spend more because others are getting paid more. You see that in advanced nations.

Bottom line, you can't compare x number of dollars a day between nations with wildly different economies and conditions like this.

aandrews said at July 10, 2015 9:35 AM:

There could be a fundamental and irrevocable change taking place.


"Predictably, the western elites and their corporate media are in a “deep denial” mode. Not only do they not comment much about this truly historical event, but when they comment about it they assiduously avoid discussing the immense implications which these events will have for the entire planet. This borders on magical thinking: if I close my eyes hard enough and long enough this nightmare will eventually vanish.

"It won’t.

"What will happen is that the US dollar will gradually be pushed out of the BRICS/SCO zone and that US military power will not be challenged, it will be made irrelevant by a completely changed international environment in which even 700+ military bases worldwide will make no difference and, thus, no sense."

Matra said at July 10, 2015 12:16 PM:

"What will happen is that the US dollar will gradually be pushed out of the BRICS/SCO zone and that US military power will not be challenged, it will be made irrelevant

As soon as I read it I thought that's got to be written by a Russian. Sure enough it is indeed. Dream on Faker.

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