Are you in the top 1 percent?

We’ve all seen those glitzy Forbes rich lists teeming with the world’s millionaires and billionaires, but what about when it comes to regular people? How does your income stack up against the rest of the world? Global Rich List puts things in a bit of humbling perspective. 

The website’s premise is simple: enter your location and annual net income (or wealth if you’re the investment and equity type) and it tells you a variety of nifty statistics by stacking up what you earn with the rest of the world. 

For the purposes of illustration, let’s say ‘Joe’ works as an entry-level advertising specialist and earns $45,800 a year before tax, which as of June 2014 is New Zealand’s median income according to Statistics New Zealand. Globally, this puts Joe in the top 1.32 percent richest people in the world by income and makes him the 79,363,025th richest person on earth.

Feeling unexpectedly wealthy? Then you should be because in one hour, Joe makes an hourly wage of $23.85 while the average labourer in Zimbabwe makes just $0.83 in the same time. And while it only takes one year for Joe to earn $45,800 doing his advertising schtick, it would take a labourer in Zimbabwe 28 years to make the same amount. 

Maybe now you’re feeling a little parched. Well for Joe, it would only take 2 minutes and 22 seconds of work for him to earn enough to purchase a refreshing beverage. If the average labourer in Indonesia fancies one, they’ll have to work for over an hour and a half. 

The simple yet effective website is the work of creative company Poke which aims to use the website to help people discover a “new found wealth” and use that wealth to help those who need it most.

“In this era of austerity, we’re still as obsessed with wealth (or our apparent lack of it) as ever,” it writes in its explainer. “But while we may not all be oil barons or oligarchs, the vast majority of us are better off than we realise. We wanted to help people to see this. And raise some much needed funds for our favourite charities while we did it.”

Poke explains that for its income calculations, it used the most recent (2008) statistics from the World Bank, based on household surveys, to rank people’s incomes against the world’s population which at the time was estimated to be 6.69 billion people.

For the wealth track, Poke primarily relied on 2012 estimates from Credit Suisse, who have focused on the adult population of the world, estimated as 4.59 billion people.

For currency conversion, Purchasing Power Parity Dollars (PPP$) was used in order to take into account the difference in cost of living between countries.

For the price of a drink, Poke estimated the price of a 330ml can of premium-brand cola to be 0.75 USD (1.08 NZD).

For working time statistics, the website assumes people work 1,920 hours a year (40 hours a week, 48 weeks a year). 

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