Friday, August 17, 2012

Poverty is a relative thing

Source: "The Haves and the Have-Nots" by Catherine Rampell

The graph shows something very interesting. It divides population of each country by income, placing the poorest people at the left  and the richest at the right of the horizontal axis. It then shows the income of each group on the vertical axis as a percentage of the world income. As expected, the curves all slope up to the right. The American curve starts high since our poor are not very poor by global standards. The curve for Brazil is higher than that for China for all portions of the income distribution, and that for China is higher than the curve for India reflecting the differences in GDP for the countries.

Note that the richest in Brasil are very nearly as rich as the richest in the United States, while the poorest in the United States are much better off than the poorest in Brazil. 

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