What’s a “Low Income” Country?

In my researches this morning I came across a passage in which the writer characterized Thailand as a “poor country”. I looed into it. With a median household income of around $7,000/year, I would characterize Thailand as a “middle income” country. I think that countries with median household income below about $7,000 are low income (India, Egypt), countries with median incomes from $7,000-$15,000 (Russia, China, Brazil, Argentina) are middle income and countries with median household incomes greater than $15,000/year are rich countries.

An additional complication in such assessments are middle income or rich countries that have a lot of poor people in them (Russia, South Africa).

What’s a “low income” country?

6 comments… add one
  • Drew Link

    Apparently we are, given the rhetoric from the Biden Administration………..

  • walt moffett Link

    One where subsistence farming is the major contribution to GNP? Or maybe say 10% or more of the work force are subsistence farmers/hunters.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    Lies, damned lies, and then statistics.
    You can skew it any way you set out to.

  • bob sykes Link

    I agree with Moffet. Any country that has not industrialized and still depends on subsistence agriculture is poor. Industrialization is the key here. Certainly it is what launched the growth in both population and standard of living in Europe, and led to European domination of the world for 200 years.

  • What has changed China from a poor country to a middle income country over the last 40 years has been the conversion of relatively unproductive labor in largely subsistence farming to manufacturing. That’s the same path forged by the Soviet Union 90 years ago. Unlike the Soviets China has been able to accomplish its transition without loss of agricultural productivity.

    But that process is largely complete. What happens next will be interesting.

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