UAE’s per capita income now ranks 7th globally

Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 29 August 2023: The UAE ranked seventh in the world in terms of per capita national income, according to the latest data released by the World Bank.

The per capita income in the UAE, based on purchasing power parity (PPP) in current international dollars, rose to Int$87,729 in July 2022, an increase of Int$10,781 from 2021.

The international dollar is a virtual currency used to compare the purchasing power of different countries. It is based on the US dollar, but it has the same purchasing power as the local currency in each country, said Wam.

According to the latest update by the World Bank, the UAE solidified its position on the list of countries with the highest income per capita based on the Atlas method while also using current US dollar prices.

The World Bank classifies the world’s economies into four groups based on income using the Atlas method, which are low-income, lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income and high-income. The classifications are updated yearly at the beginning of July based on per capita income from the previous fiscal year.

The Atlas Method

According to the Atlas method, the per capita national income in the UAE, in current US dollars, increased to US$48,950 in 2022 from its previous level of US$43,460 in 2021, surpassing the pre-COVID-19 level of US$46,210.

The expression of Gross National Income (GNI) in US dollars is done using the Atlas method, which was introduced in its current form in 1989 and utilised derived conversion factors.

The classifications can change for two reasons. Firstly, there could be changes in per capita GNI according to the Atlas method. Economic growth, inflation, exchange rates and population growth can affect the per capita income level according to the Atlas method in each country. Reviews related to improving methods and data can also have an impact.

Secondly, changes aimed at maintaining income boundaries in real terms as annual adjustments for inflation are made using the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) deflator, which is a weighted average of the deflators for gross domestic product in China, Japan, the UK, the US and the EU.

The new classification boundaries for per capita gross national income under the Atlas method for 2022 differ from 2021.

Latest Classification

In the latest classification, countries with low income have a per capita income of less than US$1,135, lower-middle-income ranges from US$1,136 to US$4,465, upper-middle-income ranges from US$4,466 to US$13,845, while high-income is above US$13,845.

In the previous classification, the thresholds were lower for all categories, with low-income countries having a per capita income of less than US$1,085, lower-middle-income ranges from US$1,086 to US$4,255, upper-middle-income ranges from US$4,256 to US$13,205, and high-income exceeds US$13,205.

Regarding per capita GNI, according to the Atlas method, nearly 80 percent of countries showed improvements in 2022 from the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

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