When we consider how well we are doing financially, we must choose a referent.  That is, when we ask the question (“How well am I doing?”), we are also, simultaneously choosing a comparison group (e.g., people in our profession, people of our same sex, people our age, etc).

Most of us probably also restrict our considerations to people in the same country.  We usually don’t think about how well we are doing compared to all human beings in the world, but this website allows us to do just that.  If you put in your yearly income, it will show you where you rank on a global scale (Yen, Canadian dollars, U.S. dollars, Euros, and Pounds only, unfortunately).

I put in the median yearly income for a full time worker in the U.S. and this was the calculation:


This, of course, doesn’t consider the cost of living differences, but it still offers an interesting perspective.


Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.