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National Income per Head of Population

AS, A-Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

How much does each person earn on average? We use per capita measures to give us a guide to this. Income per capita is a way of measuring the standard of living for the inhabitants of a country.

Gross National Income per capita = Gross National Income / Total Population

Real per capita incomes, measured in US dollars, for a selection of countries

Economics of a Growing Middle Class

A key feature of many faster-growing, lower-income countries is the emergence of a significant middle class of consumers. There is no single definition of the income level needed to be included in this category.

Middle class population in millions

  • Middle-class households are those with an annual income > US $ 5,000
  • Middle-class households are those with an annual income > US $ 10,000

The Brookings Institution in the United States estimates that there are 1.8 billion worldwide in the middle class, which will grow to 3.2 billion by the end of the decade

The huge rise in the number of people calculated as having a middle-class income will be a major factor shaping growth and development in these countries in the years ahead. As per capita incomes rise, so too does the demand for consumer staple products, lifestyle products and financial services. Luxury product demand too will see abnormally high growth rates.

This represents an enormous opportunity for multinationals who have built up global brands. For example:

  • 40% of Apple's revenues come from Asia Pacific and Japan
  • 50% of the revenues for the Swatch group flow from Asian consumer markets
  • Nearly 30% of the revenues for Kraft Foods are generated in developing markets

Nominal GDP capita for the richest twenty countries in the world

Find more statistics at Statista

Variations in GNI per capita (PPP adjusted) for selected countries

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