Wuhan Virus Shrank The Middle Class
The amount of poor worldwide has risen by 131 million people.
The research organization Pew Research reported on the record impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the middle class around the world: at the end of last year, 54 million people dropped out of it, while the number of the poor increased by 131 million people. Developing countries in South and East Asia have been hit hardest by the declining middle class, while developed countries have seen a decline in high-income populations.
Pew Research analyst noted that the decline in economic activity has negatively affected the material well-being of people around the world, pushing millions of people out of the middle class and increasing the ranks of the poor. Researchers estimate that worldwide the middle class has shrunk by 54 million.
According to the World Bank classification, depending on disposable income, the population is divided into five groups: poor, low-income, middle-income, upper-middle-income, and high-income. For the first category, the income allows you to live on no more than $2 per day, for the second - $ 2-10, for the middle class - $ 10-20 per day, or the annual income for a family of four at the level of $ 14.6-29.2 thousand; above-average - $ 20-50 per day, high level - more than $ 50.
Researchers estimated that worldwide the middle class has shrunk by 54 million.
In developed countries, the most active decline in the number of people with high incomes: last year there were 47 million fewer. And the sharpest decline in the middle class was recorded in the countries of South and East Asia, as well as in the Pacific region. India is among the world's leaders in shrinking the middle class, where 32 million people have their incomes declined to below the average level, while 35 million people in the category of citizens with below-average incomes fell to the minimum income level. Thus, the stratum of poor people in India over the past year grew by 75 million people - up to 134 million.
Discussing the global dynamics of the rest of the population, Pew Research analysts noted that the number of people with high incomes decreased by 62 million, and those with an income above the average - by 36 million, while the number of people with incomes below the average increased by 21 million.
The decline in the well-being of the global population in 2020 came after nearly a decade of continuous growth.
From 2011 to 2019, the middle class worldwide increased by 899 million people - to 1.34 billion, an average annual growth of 54 million. During the same period, the number of poor people decreased from 1.1 billion to 691 million, but 2020 crossed out several years of progress, increasing the number of poor people at once by 131 million people.