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Uruguay Leads the Per Capita Income Ranking in Latin America

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – (El Pais Uruguay) In July of each year, the World Bank releases new per capita gross income figures for each country, dividing them into categories: high, medium-high, medium-low, and low.

For the 2018 assessment, released this month, most countries in the region ranked as having medium-high per capita income.

Uruguay and Chile were the two nations that stood out for recording high-income levels.

In the case of Uruguay, the World Bank assessment showed that the country recorded a national per capita income of US$15,650 (R$62,000).

Uruguay has a stable economy with a literate workforce and an export-oriented agricultural sector serving as the pillars of the country’s economy. (Photo Internet Reproduction)

Chile, with the second highest per capita income in the region, had approximately US$14,670 per capita income last year.

Countries with a per capita income ranging between US$3,996 and US$12,375 fall into the medium-high category.

The third highest country in the region was Argentina, which showed US$12,370 per person in 2018; however, it came close – needing only another US$5 – to be ranked as a high-income country, according to the above classification.

In addition to Colombia and Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay,
Belize, and Guatemala were other Latin American countries with medium high rankings in terms of income.

The GDP per capita in Brazil was recorded at US$11,026.24 in 2018, the equivalent to 87 percent of the world’s average.

It recorded an average of US$ 7,879.27 from 1960 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of US$11,993.48 in 2013 and a record low of US$3,417.35 in 1960.

Taking up the lower section of the list of countries in this hemisphere are four
nations included in lower-middle-income countries: El Salvador, Bolivia, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

No country in the region was listed as a low-income country for this edition of the study.

“This assessment serves to place us in the international context, and it so happens that
the Latin American economy is far from exercising leadership as a region at the global
level. Latin American economies are still facing tremendous development challenges,” said
Carlos Sepúlveda, dean of the University of Rosario in Colombia.

Among the sixteen Latin American countries, Colombia ranked eighth in this index. Of these, ten nations (including Brazil) were part of the list of economies recording a medium-high income per person.

World leaders

With an average per capita income of US$83,580, Switzerland was the leading country for the past year. Likewise, Norway was the second nation with the highest records in this regard, totaling approximately US$80,790 per person.

Switzerland’s strong economy is powered by low corporate tax rates, a highly-developed service sector led by financial services and a high-tech manufacturing industry. (Photo Internet Reproduction)

Without considering small population centers such as the Isle of Man or Macau, in southern China, which also recorded high figures, Luxembourg was the country with the third-highest per capita income, recording US$77,820.

The United States and Qatar were the two other most prominent countries on the list, with
an income of approximately US$62,850 and US$61,190, respectively.

Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Singapore, and Sweden completed the list of most favored nations.

Conversely, the lowest income earners were made up of five African countries: Madagascar,
Mozambique, Niger, Malawi, and Burundi. The highest income among these states, Madagascar, totaled US$440 per person last year, while the country at the bottom of the overall list, Burundi, closed 2018 with US$280 per capita.

The World Bank did not list 25 territories, including Venezuela.

Overview by region

North America was the world region with the highest average in this indicator, after
reaching US$61,031 per capita last year.

Despite such high figures for one specific area, others such as South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa conversely failed to exceed US$2,000 last year.

The former only completed US$1,925 per person in the most recent assessment, and the latter only reached US$1,507.

In Latin America, the average was set at US$8,700.

It was surpassed in regional terms by North American numbers, by US$24,276 per person for Europe and Central Asia, and by US$10,977 per capita for East Asia and the Pacific.

Thus, among seven regions in the World Bank’s most recent per capita income study, Latin
America ranked fourth, surpassing the Middle East and North Africa.

One half of the African continent lives below the poverty line. In sub-Saharan Africa, per capita GDP is now less than it was in 1974, having declined over eleven percent. (Photo Internet Reproduction)

(Source: El Pais Uruguay)

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