High income countries

A high-income economy is defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita above US$12,615 in 2012, calculated using the Atlas method.[1] While the term "high-income" is often used interchangeably with "First World" and "developed country", the technical definitions of these terms differ. The term "first world" commonly refers to countries that aligned themselves with the U.S. and NATO during the cold war. Several institutions, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or International Monetary Fund (IMF), take factors other than high per capita income into account when classifying countries as "developed" or "advanced economies". According to the United Nations, for example, some high-income countries may also be developing countries. The GCC (Persian Gulf States) countries, for example, are classified as developing high-income countries. Thus, a high-income country may be classified as either developed or developing.[2] Although the Holy See is a sovereign state, it is not classified by the World Bank under this definition.

List of high-income economies (as of July 1, 2013)

According to the World Bank the following 76 countries (including territories) are classified as "high-income economies":[3] In parenthesis the year(s) during which they held such classification.[4]

Former high-income economies

a Dissolved on 10 October 2010. Succeeded by Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Historical thresholds

The high-income threshold was originally set in 1989 at US$6,000 in 1987 prices. Thresholds for subsequent years were adjusted taking into account the average inflation in the G-5 countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France), and from 2001, that of Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Euro Zone.[5] Thus, the thresholds remain constant in real terms over time.[4] To ensure no country falls right on the threshold, country data are rounded to the nearest 10 and income thresholds are rounded to the nearest 5.[6]

The following table shows the high-income threshold from 1987 onwards. Countries with a GNI per capita (calculated using the Atlas method) above this threshold are classified by the World Bank as "high-income economies".[4]

Year Threshold
Date of
1987 6,000
1988 6,000
1989 6,000
1990 7,620
1991 7,910
1992 8,355
1993 8,625
1994 8,955
1995 9,385
1996 9,645
1997 9,655
1998 9,360
1999 9,265
2000 9,265
2001 9,205
2002 9,075
2003 9,385
2004 10,065
2005 10,725
2006 11,115
2007 11,455
2008 11,905
2009 12,195
2010 12,275
2011 12,475
2012 12,615

See also


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