New country classifications by income level: 2019-2020 (2023)

  • World Bank Data Team

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Updated country income classifications for the World Bank’s 2020 fiscal year are available here.

The World Bank classifies the world's economies into four income groups — high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low. We base this assignment on Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (current US$) calculated using the Atlas method. The classification is updated each year on July 1st.

The classification of countries is determined by two factors:

  1. A country’s GNI per capita, which can change with economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population. Revisions to national accounts methods and data can also influence GNI per capita.
  2. Classification threshold: The thresholdsare adjusted for inflation annuallyusing the SDR deflator.

New data onGNI per capita data for 2018 is now available here. More detailed information on how the World Bank classifies countries is availablehere.

Until last year (Fiscal Year 2019), the income classifications had an analytical purpose and did not influence the World Bank’s lending terms. However, since the last fiscal year, the high-income threshold is also a determining factor for lending rates. Surcharges are applied for lending rates of countries which have been categorized as high income for two consecutive years.

Updated Thresholds

New thresholds are determined at the start of the World Bank’s fiscal year in July and remain fixed for 12 months regardless of subsequent revisions to estimates. The thresholds for income classification have increased from last year due to SDR inflation. As of July 1, 2019, the new thresholds for classification by income are:


July 2019/$ (new)

July 2018/$ (old)

Low income

Lower-middle income

1,026 - 3,995

996 - 3,895

Upper-middle income

3,996 - 12,375

3,896 - 12,055

High income

> 12,375

> 12,055

Changes in Classification

The following countries are assigned to new income groups:

(Video) World Bank Report- Income Level Classification | Current Affairs | Current Affairs in 10

New group

Old group

GNI/Capita/$ (2018) as of July 1, 2019

GNI/Capita/$ (2017) as of July 1, 2018


Lower-middle income

Low income




Upper-middle income

Lower-middle income




Upper-middle income

Lower-middle income




Lower-middle income

Low income



Sri Lanka

Upper-middle income

Lower-middle income




Lower-middle income

Low income




Upper-middle income

High income



The country and lending groups page provides a complete list of economies classified by income, region, and lending status and links to previous years’ classifications. The classification tables include all World Bank members, plus all other economies with populations of more than 30,000. The term country, used interchangeably with economy, does not imply political independence but refers to any territory for which authorities report separate social or economic statistics.

Data for GNI, GNI per capita, GDP, GDP PPP, and Population for 2018 are now available on World Bank's Open Data Catalog. Note that these are preliminary estimates and may be revised. For more information, please contact us at [emailprotected].


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Dear WB team,
I'd like to understand the change of classification regarding Comoros. When I look at the GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US $), I've found a value of US $ 1,320 in 2018 as mentioned. However, the value is US $ 1,280 in 2017 while you have put a value of US $ 760. Could you explain me why is there difference between the value here and the actual GNI per capita dataset? Or please, is it possible to have the dataset you used for the classification?



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Hi Rémi,

For your concern, please reach out to the World Bank Data helpdesk team:

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What levels are used to classify a country by income? ›

The World Bank assigns the world's economies to four income groups—low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income countries. The classifications are updated each year on July 1 and are based on GNI per capita in current USD (using the Atlas method exchange rates) of the previous year (i.e. 2020 in this case).

Which countries are called low-income countries as per the world Development Report 2019? ›

In World Development Reports, brought out by the World Bank, this criterion is used in classifying countries. Countries with per capita income of US$ 49,300 per annum and above in 2019, are called high income or rich countries and those with per capita income of US$ 2500 or less are called low-income countries.

How are developing countries classified? ›

The World Bank classifies the world's economies into four groups, based on gross national income per capita: high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low income countries. Least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states are all sub-groupings of developing countries.

What is the highest income country 2022? ›

Top 15 Countries by GDP in 2022
  • United States: $20.89 trillion.
  • China: $14.72 trillion.
  • Japan: $5.06 trillion.
  • Germany: $3.85 trillion.
  • United Kingdom: $2.67 trillion.
  • India: $2.66 trillion.
  • France: $2.63 trillion.
  • Italy: $1.89 trillion.

Is the US a high income country? ›

For the 2023 financial year, the World Bank placed 81 countries in the high-income category. Many countries, such as the United States, have consistently ranked as high income since the 1980s, but others have moved in or out.

What are the 4 levels of income? ›

The World Bank classifies economies for analytical purposes into four income groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high income.

What are the top 5 underdeveloped countries? ›

  • Chad.
  • Malawi.
  • Mozambique.
  • Somalia.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • Central African Republic.
  • South Sudan.
  • Burundi.
Aug 5, 2022

What are the 3 least developed countries? ›

LDC graduation

Botswana in December 1994. Cabo Verde in December 2007. Maldives in January 2011.

What are the top 5 least developed countries? ›

The 2011 conference set a goal of boosting half of the current LDCs out of the category by 2022.
Ten Least-Developed Countries in the World by HDI (United Nations 2019 data):
  • Niger — . ...
  • Central African Republic — . ...
  • Chad — . ...
  • Burundi — . ...
  • South Sudan — . ...
  • Mali — . ...
  • Burkina Faso — . ...
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How do we classify countries 4 levels? ›

Accordingly, countries have been grouped as high-income, upper middle income, lower middle income and low-income (table E). To maintain compatibility with similar classifications used else- where, the threshold levels of GNI per capita are those established by the World Bank.

Is America developed or developing? ›

Published: Monday 26 September 2022

Under this methodology — an expansive model of 17 categories, or “goals,” many of them focused on the environment and equity — the US ranks between Cuba and Bulgaria. Both are widely regarded as developing countries.

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16 The first economic classification in the 1978 WDI divided countries into three categories: (1) developing countries, (2) industrialized countries, and (3) capital-surplus oil-exporting countries.

What are the 3 levels of development for countries? ›

The HDR classifies countries into four levels of development based on their HDIs: “very high human development,” “high human development,” “medium human development” and “low human development.” Each level of development is generally accompanied by higher income, longer life expectancy and more years of education, ...

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Gross National Income (GNI) is a measurement of a country's income. It includes all the income earned by a country's residents, businesses, and earnings from foreign sources. Income is defined as all employee compensation plus investment profits. GNI also includes any product taxes not already counted, minus subsidies.

What are the three levels of income? ›

The three main profit indicators on the income statement are gross profit, operating profit and net income.


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