The income and wealth concentration in the hands of the richest top 1% skews the average per capita incomes and makes the material well-being of average citizen look better than it is. The best way to measure how well or poorly an average citizen is doing is to look at the median income and wealth, not the average or mean. The median income reflects how much the person at the 50th percentile of the income distribution earns, giving us a better picture of the well-being of a “typical” individual in a given country. Similarly, median wealth represents how much wealth a person at the 50th percentile of the wealth distribution has accumulated.
Median Incomes in South Asia:
Centre for Global Development has estimated 2014 median incomes of countries around the world. Here's what it reported for India and Pakistan:
Pakistan: Median Income per capita: $,1204.50, Median Household Income: $6,022.50 Mean (Average) per capita $4,811.31
India Rural: Median per capita $930.75 Median Household $4,653.75 Mean (Average) per capita $5,700.72
India Urban: Median per capita $1295.75 Median Household $6,478.75 Mean(Average) per capita: $5,700.72
It shows that India's urban median income is slightly higher than Pakistan's median income. However, India's rural median income is significantly lower than Pakistan's. It should be noted that 70% of India's population lives in rural areas, much higher than Pakistan's 61%, according to the World Bank.
Using India's Census figures of 30% urban and 70% rural population, the median per capita income for all of India works out to $1,040.25, about 15.8% lower than Pakistan's median per capita income of $1,204.50.
Median Wealth in South Asia:
Average Pakistani adult is 20% richer than an average Indian adult and the median wealth of a Pakistani adult is 120% higher than that of his or her Indian counterpart, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016. Average household wealth in Pakistan has grown 2.1% while it has declined 0.8% in India since the end of last year.
|Source: Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016
Here are the key statistics reported by Credit Suisse:
Total Household Wealth Mid-2016 :
India $3,099 billion Pakistan $524 billion
Wealth per adult:
India Year End 2000 Average $2,036 Median $498.00
Pakistan Year End 2000 Average $2,399 Median $1,025
India Mid-2016 Average $3,835 Median $608
Pakistan Mid-2016 Average $4,595 Median $1,788
Average wealth per adult in Pakistan is $760 more than in India or about 20% higher.
Median wealth per adult in Pakistan is $1,180 more than in India or about 120% higher
Median per capita income in Pakistan is 15.8% higher than in India, according to the World Bank PovcalNet figures. Median per capita wealth in Pakistan in Pakistan is 120% more than in India, according to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2016. The median figures reflect the financial situation of the people at the 50th percentile of the income and wealth distributions in each country.
The income and wealth concentration in the hands of the richest top 1% skews the average per capita incomes and makes the material well-being of average citizen look better than it is. The best way to measure how well or poorly an average citizen is doing is to look at the median income and wealth, not the average or mean. Median income and wealth figures in South Asia show that average Pakistanis are better off economically than their counterparts in India.
Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2016
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