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Economics

Study Notes

National Income per Head of Population

Level:
AS, A Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

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

Country Name 2000 2005 2011 Country Name 2000 2005 2011
Qatar 64829 69512 77987 Heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) 940 1051 1244
Luxembourg 61061 68320 68459 Low income 797 941 1190
Singapore 38063 45374 53591 Burkina Faso 853 1014 1149
Kuwait 38359 48783 47935 Nepal 903 954 1102
Norway 43975 47626 46982 Guinea-Bissau 1146 1017 1097
Hong Kong SAR, China 29785 35678 43844 Rwanda 661 840 1097
United States 39545 42516 42486 Haiti 1137 1023 1034
Canada 32447 35033 35716 Mozambique 501 670 861
Ireland 33424 38896 35640 Madagascar 904 869 853
Sweden 29145 32703 35048 Malawi 667 645 805
Australia 29663 32719 34548 Sierra Leone 424 647 769
Germany 30298 31115 34437 Central African Republic 766 672 716
High income: OECD 30419 32821 33726 Niger 597 610 642
High income 30004 32450 33533 Eritrea 576 596 516
Belgium 30398 32189 33127 Liberia 344 346 506
United Kingdom 29056 32738 32474 Congo, Dem. Rep. 260 277 329

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

2010 2015 (Forecast)
China (i) 172 314
India (i) 186 366
Russia (ii) 91 123
Indonesia (i) 48 103
Brazil (ii) 48 69
  • 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

Statistic: The 20 countries with the largest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2014 (in U.S. dollars) |<img src=
Find more statistics at Statista

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

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