World Bank high-income economy

A high-income economy is defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita US$12,056 or more in 2017, calculated using the Atlas method.[1] While the term "high-income" is often used interchangeably with "First World" and "developed country", the technical definitions of these terms differ. The term "first world" commonly refers to countries that aligned themselves with the U.S. and NATO during the Cold War. Several institutions, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or International Monetary Fund (IMF), take factors other than high per capita income into account when classifying countries as "developed" or "advanced economies". According to the United Nations, for example, some high-income countries may also be developing countries. The GCC countries, for example, are classified as developing high-income countries. Thus, a high-income country may be classified as either developed or developing.[2] Although the Holy See is a sovereign state, it is not classified by the World Bank under this definition.

List of high-income economies (as of 2019 fiscal year)

According to the World Bank the following 81 countries (including territories) are classified as "high-income economies".[1] In brackets the year(s) during which they held such classification. As of 2019, High-income economies are those that had a GNI per capita of $12,056 or more — in 2017.

High income UN members

High income non-UN members

Former high-income economies

In parenthesis the year(s) during which they held such classification.[3]

a Between 1994 and 2009, as part of the  Netherlands Antilles.

b Dissolved on 10 October 2010. Succeeded by Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Historical thresholds

The high-income threshold was originally set in 1989 at US$6,000 in 1987 prices. Thresholds for subsequent years were adjusted taking into account the average inflation in the G-5 countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France), and from 2001, that of Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the eurozone.[4] Thus, the thresholds remain constant in real terms over time.[3] To ensure no country falls right on the threshold, country data are rounded to the nearest 10 and income thresholds are rounded to the nearest 5.[5]

The following table shows the high-income threshold from 1987 onwards. Countries with a GNI per capita (calculated using the Atlas method) above this threshold are classified by the World Bank as "high-income economies".[3]

YearGNI per capita (US$)Date of
19876,000October 2, 1988
19886,000September 13, 1989
19896,000August 29, 1990
19907,620September 11, 1991
19917,910August 24, 1992
19928,355September 9, 1993
19938,625September 2, 1994
19948,955June 8, 1995
19959,385June 3, 1996
19969,645July 1, 1997
19979,655July 1, 1998
19989,360July 1, 1999
19999,265July 1, 2000
20009,265July 1, 2001
20019,205July 1, 2002
20029,075July 1, 2003
20039,385July 1, 2004
200410,065July 1, 2005
200510,725July 1, 2006
200611,115July 1, 2007
200711,455July 1, 2008
200811,905July 1, 2009
200912,195July 1, 2010
201012,275July 1, 2011
201112,475July 1, 2012
201212,615July 1, 2013
201312,745July 1, 2014
201412,735July 1, 2015
201512,475July 1, 2016
201612,236July 1, 2017
201712,056July 1, 2018

See also


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