How to calculate if you’re in the 1% for income in the world

With all the ‘occupy’ stuff I’ve been wondering if in fact I am in the top 1% for income in the world. I’m on £34,500 right now and that puts me in the top 1.22% so I’m almost there. This is how I figured it out. Thanks to my Dad and Clive Andrews for some of these links.


  1. Adjust your income for inflation to see what your income was worth in the year 2000. Use this ‘lump sum’ inflation calculator tool for that. This put me down to  £25,368.
  2. Use this Global Rich List tool (which is based on year 2000 world bank data, which is adjusted to account for differences in cost of living around the world, and is based on household surveys) to see what top % you’re in. I got 1.22%.
  3. Not only does it tell you what % you’re in, but it tells you how many people in the world are richer than you are. I got 73,781,538 people.

I’m sure there’s holes in these tools and methods but I also don’t think they’re massively far off. I also don’t think the solution is to give lots of money to charities dealing with the symptoms of a broken society. I think we need to support charities or organisations that are focused on changing the structure of society to make it fairer, otherwise nothing will change in the long term. That is, revolutionary organisations, and those working to raise awareness of the issues.

There’s also a really neat data visualisation tool where you can customise the dataset here. Here you can see how wealth distribution has widened over time, and how different countries differ.

This is also interesting, by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, to see where you fit as a household, in the UK. I got top 19%. You can use this salary calculator to calculate your income after tax.


One thought on “How to calculate if you’re in the 1% for income in the world

  1. Alex C says:

    Wait a couple of years until the world population hits 7.3 billion and you’ll be golden

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