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International Ranking of Household Income: Wikis

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Household income is the most comprehensive measure of a country's citizens material well-being. It includes not just income from employment, but every form of income, including all retirement income, near cash government transfers (like food stamps), and investment gains. Net household income (after taxes and mandatory contributions) is the best indicator of standard of living because it includes only amounts which are disposable to members of the household.

Contents

Introduction

Internationally comparable data on household income are difficult to find. Definitions differ frequently, as does the treatment of taxes (i.e., gross versus net income). Fortunately, the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) has recently added a publicly available database with comparable statistics on household incomes for several countries. As an intermediate solution, OECD data using the exact same definition of household income has been used for those countries where LIS data is still not present for 2004 (Spain, France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Poland).[1] Once the LIS updates its files, these data will be used instead.

Below are presented the mean and median disposable household incomes, adjusted for differences in household size.[2] Thus, the figures presented are per person (equivalized) and after all income taxes and social contributions are paid. All figures were converted using respective year purchasing power parities (PPP) for private consumption, which is the recommended way to convert incomes for international comparisons.[3] The PPP conversion rates are taken directly from the OECD database. All incomes are in the prices when income was earned, and refer to year 2004, except for Australia (2003), UK (2004-2005), and Sweden (2005). The exact definition of income can be seen in the LIS website (variable DPI), though generally it includes all cash income (Earnings, Pensions, Interest, Dividents, Rental Income, Social Transfers) and excludes most non-cash income(e.g., like employer contributions to social insurances, or the value of government provided health care and education). Note that capital gains are excluded from the income definition.

Mean and median disposable household income (PPP) $

Rank Country Mean income 2004
1  United States 32,195
2  Canada 26,601
3  Switzerland 26,512
4  United Kingdom 26,193
5  Norway 25,961
6  Austria 24,485
7  Germany 22,585
8  Denmark 22,524
9  Sweden 21,193
10  Belgium 21,173
11  Australia 21,231
12  South Korea 20,743
13  France 20,533
14  Japan 19,805
15  Finland 19,735
16  Spain 17,732
17  Poland 8,137
Rank Country Median income 2004
1  United States 26,672
2  Switzerland 23,962
3  Norway 23,794
4  Canada 23,144
5  Austria 21,787
6  Denmark 21,437
7  United Kingdom 21,406
8  Germany 19,853
9  Sweden 19,791
10  Belgium 19,284
11  South Korea 18,806
12  Australia 18,271
13  Finland 18,074
14  France 17,984
15  Japan 17,538
16  Spain 15,578
17  Poland 6,515

See also

References

  1. ^ http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=INEQUALITY
  2. ^ http://www.lisproject.org/key-figures/key-figures-methods.htm
  3. ^ http://www.lisproject.org/links/canberra/finalreport.pdf

External links

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