It Only Takes $34K to Be Global One Percenter
Things are tougher elsewhere
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2012 2:46 AM CST
We have met the enemy and they might be us.   (AP Photo/Stephanie Keith)

(Newser) – Oh, this is rich. Many members of the 99% turn out to be one-percenters when incomes from all over the world are ranked. In fact, it takes an annual per-person income of $34,000—after taxes—to place an American in the global 1%, according to the book The Haves and Have-Nots by World Bank economist Branko Milanovic. The true global middle class gets by on just $1,225 a year, notes the New York Daily News. “It doesn’t seem right to define as middle class people who would be on food stamps in the US,” Milanovic tells CNN.

Half of all of the world's richest (29 million) live in the US, with most of the rest in Germany (4 million); France, Italy, and England (3 million each); and Japan and Brazil (2 million each). There's nobody in the richest 1% in Africa, China, India, Eastern Europe, or Russia in "statistically significant" numbers, Milanovic writes in his book.

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Showing 3 of 44 comments
Jan 9, 2012 5:36 PM CST
This "first world problems" meme is really getting out of hand. So because I'm not starving, freezing and dying of Malaria, I should just grin and bear whatever is thrown at me? It's terrible that so many people in the world live in poverty, but I was fortunate enough to be born in a more developed country. Should we just stop complaining about things until we reach the level of these poorer countries, because our problems aren't as bad as theirs?
Jan 9, 2012 8:57 AM CST
Realize after taxes to have $34,000 a year, for a two person family this would resort to having to gross $50,000 each, or the couple would gross 100,000 a year per couple to make it in this category. Where do food stamps come in on the household with 100K Gross? Maybe I am confused with some of the comments.
Jan 8, 2012 7:02 AM CST
This brings to mind the Mark Twain quote: "There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies and statistics."