Middle income: World Bank sticks by its data

A milk vender takes cover with his goods at the sight of military police. Photo by Lubowa Abubaker

What you need to know:

  • Upper middle-income economies, the World Bank noted, will be those whose citizens earn a gross national income per capita of between $4,256 and $13,205.

The World Bank has maintained that Uganda’s per capita gross national income stands at $840 per annum, according it is data for the period ended 2020/21. 

In a statement published on its website at the weekend, titled the World Bank Approach to Global Income classification, the World Bank said calculation of the $840 gross national income contained in the 19th edition of the Uganda Economic Update, was based on data from 2020/21, which is the same reference period for all member countries included in the current global income classification. 

“The World Bank has carried out income classifications annually since 1989 to ensure consistency and global comparability. The current global income classifications were released on July 1, comprising low, lower-middle, upper-middle and high-income countries. These classifications are based on [gross national income] per capita calculated using data from the previous fiscal year,” the statement reads in part. 

Last week, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) insisted that Uganda had attained middle income status with an estimated per capita gross national product of $1046. 
This had come after the World Bank had published details in which it indicated that Uganda was still a low income country, days after President Museveni, had during the State of the Nation Address in June, indicate that the Uganda was now a middle income country. 

The World Bank data has since attracted an exchange from government agencies, among them Ubos, which last week indicated that there was a variance in data with the World Bank relying on old data to classify Uganda. 

Ubos insisted that based on its 2021/22 data, Uganda had attained middle income status with a per capita gross domestic product that was within the middle income threshold. 

The World Bank Group New Year begins every July 1 and the statement indicated that for 2023 fiscal year, low-income economies will be classified as those with a gross national income per capita of $1,085 or less in 2021 while lower middle income economies will be those with a gross national income per capita of between $1,086 and $4,255. 

Upper middle-income economies, the World Bank noted, will be those whose citizens earn a gross national income per capita of between $4,256 and $13,205 while high-income economies will be those with a gross national income per capita of $13,205 or more annually. 

Groupings        

The World Bank classifies economies into four income groupings, among which include low, lower-middle, upper-middle and high income based on gross national income per capita. 

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