How Rich Are You Compared To Everyone Else?

How rich are you? Richer than you think. This income-rank calculator might change how you see yourself.


When you think about your income, do you feel rich, poor, or just average?

Most of us have no idea – or the wrong idea – of how we compare with the rest of the world.

Regardless of how you answer that question, the majority of people feel like they’re underpaid or not getting paid enough. It’s human nature to want more.

This applies to people from all walks of life. There are people who make $8 an hour and wish they could be paid $15 instead. Others who make $200,000 are trying to figure out how to make $500,000.

We all feel underpaid. How many times have you heard someone say they’re overpaid?

Like never.

Putting Wealth Into Perspective

Instead of comparing ourselves to the next door neighbor or “that guy” we knew in high school who made it big – let’s put our wealth into a world perspective.

My family came here from a third-world country. I’ve seen how people live in over 100 countries throughout my travels.

I know what being poor really looks like:

Poor boy holding a wheelbarrow in Vietnam

The point is, being poor by American standards is still light years ahead compared to the rest of the world.

How Rich Am I?

Find Out How Rich

The link above will show you how rich you are compared to everyone else in the world. All you have to do is select the country where you live, enter your income amount, and the size of your household.

You’ll get some interesting charts and illustrations in return.

For example, if I plug in $33,706 (the median income in the United States), it tells me that someone with that income level makes more than 96.3% of people in this world.

That’s right, only 4 out of 100 people in the world is making more money than you if you earn roughly $17 an hour working full-time:

How rich are you with a $33,706 income

Keeping Up With The Joneses

“Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments,” proclaimed English writer Samuel Johnson.

A common fallacy is that the more things you buy, the happier you’ll be. This is exacerbated by the rise of social media; your friend just moved into that huge mansion or bought the latest model Mercedes – and now you want one.

But it’s likely you’ll just end up in debt with the added stress of buying things outside of what’s affordable. One of our readers, Allison, learned this the hard way where she struggled paycheck to paycheck even with a $100,000 salary.

Young woman struggling looking at bills

In fact, studies have been conducted that shows you only need $75,000 in annual salary to be truly happy. The main points being:

  • High income improves evaluation of life, but not emotional well-being
  • Emotional well-being refers to the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience – the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that makes one’s life pleasant or unpleasant

In layman’s terms, what this is getting at is that once you have enough money to cover your basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, and healthcare), there is minimal additional happiness that can be gained by buying things.

Rather, to increase happiness, you need to focus on maximizing the time spent on things that are good for your emotional well-being; spending time with loved ones, enriching one’s mind, and being active with your hobbies.

How To Be Richer

Ok, this is a finance site. The typical reader wants to cover basic needs and have some extra money to play with. After all, there are some incremental gains in happiness when you have disposable income.

That is exactly why I broke the site into 3 very distinct categories:

Imagine two people making the same amount of money every month and buying the exact same things – essentially mirror images of each other.

The only difference is their behavior.

Person A

Person A doesn’t have side hustles, lives paycheck to paycheck with no ability to save, and always buy things at retail price.

Person B

Person B spends a little bit of their time signing up for bank bonuses that nets $600 in extra money, saves their hard-earned moolah in high interest savings accounts, and takes advantage of cash back apps to avoid paying full price.

The Result

Even though they make the same, Person B is moving ahead every month financially. Extrapolate that every month and every year and the difference between their financial profiles is huge.

The reason?

Person B invests a little more time in maximizing their finances and that pays them back in spades.

The Bottom Line

How rich are you? We’re all richer than we think, especially compared to the rest of the world.

Sure, there’s always room for improvement, but a lot of it has to do with behavioral changes. Someone making $50,000 per month could be in a better financial position and happier than someone else making $100,000.

Be cognizant that the money focus is on you and not that of your neighbor or friend.

About John Pham

John Pham is a personal finance expert, serial entrepreneur, and founder of The Money Ninja. He has also been fortunate enough to have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report. John has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of New Hampshire.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments