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Are You a Prince or a Pauper?

Ap 27 2013 – It is tax season and since you just had to tell the tax authorities how much you made, this is a great time to look at your income and see how you fit in vs. your fellow humans.

The World
The graph below shows a rough approximation of the distribution of income worldwide. Most people live on an annual income between $750 and $7,500, which is generally enough to provide a good standard of living. On the left edge of the graph, over a billion people live in absolute poverty, lacking sufficient food and clean water. The right side of the graph shows the consumer class, where over a billion people like me enjoy our western lifestyle.


So if you made more than $7500 this year, congratulations you are one of the world’s wealthiest people.

Closer To Home
Ha Ha you say, I don’t want to compare myself to Bangladesh, what about here at home. Lets look at how your income compares against typical Canadians (if you live in the USA the numbers are similar). This is a cute widget in a MacCleans article.  Click here it allows you to compare your wage.

I have been counselling two people close to me, about careers. One is moving from an $11 position and going into Nursing, union pay of $35 an hour, my son is going in to Marine Engineering that starts at $50 an hour. To convert that into annual income just multiply by 2000 (aprox working hours per year):
  • $11 an hour is $22,000 a year, 
  • $35 an hour is $70,000 per year, and 
  • $50 per hour is $100,000 a year. 
According to the MacCleans article ranking, that puts our $11 an hour worker in the bottom 45%. This gets even more depressing when you consider that a significant portion of the bottom 30% are elderly, juveniles, disabled, infirmed, incarcerated or just otherwise don’t even go to work. However, if our $11/hr worker changes to her new career as a nurse she will earn in the top 14% of Canadian income, and our young Marine Engineers will be in the top 5.5% You can see why selecting a good career is so important.