The world population in 4 income levels, because “rich” vs “poor” makes no sense.

Hans Rosling suggested In his book “FACTFULNESS”, that people should stop dividing countries in two groups because “it doesn’t make sense anymore, and it doesn’t help us understand the world in a practical way”.

He insisted that it doesn’t help businesses find opportunities, and it doesn’t help aid money to find the poorest people. However, since we can’t give up our old labels and replace them with nothing, some kind of sorting should be made that makes sense of the world.

The reason the old labels- such as the “rich” and the “poor”, the “developed” and the “developing” – are so popular is that they are so simple even if they are wrong.


Instead of dividing the world into two groups, an equally simple but more relevant and useful way of dividing the world is worth adopting, dividing it into four income levels, as set out in the image below.

The seven figures show how the current world population -7 billion people- is spread out across four income levels.

Let’s see how people living in each income level are facing their challenges and living their everyday lives.

Levels 1

People living on level 1, earn less than $2 a day and spend most of their day walking barefoot to fetch water from a dirty mud hole. They gather firewood so they can cook their own food over an open fire. At night, they sleep on a dirt floor. They can’t afford medication, so if their kids get badly sick, they will most likely die. Yet they keep struggling on. If they are lucky and the yields are good, they can maybe sell some surplus crops and manage to earn more than 2 dollars a day, which would move them up to the next level.
One billion people around the world are living on level 1.

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