Syndicate content

New country classifications by income level: 2017-2018

World Bank Data Team's picture
Also available in: Español | 中文 | Français | العربية

Updated country income classifications for the World Bank’s 2018 fiscal year are available here.

The World Bank assigns the world's economies into four income groups — high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low. We base this assignment on GNI per capita calculated using the Atlas method. The units for this measure and for the thresholds is current US Dollars.

At the Bank, these classifications are used to aggregate data for groups of similar countries. The income-category of a country is not one of the factors used that influence lending decisions.

Each year on July 1st, we update the classifications. They change for two reasons:

1. In each country, factors such as income growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population change, influence GNI per capita.

2. To keep the dollar thresholds which separate the classifications fixed in real terms, we adjust them for inflation.

The data for the first adjustment come from estimates of 2016 GNI per capita which are now available. This year, the thresholds have moved down slightly because of low price inflation and the strengthening of the US dollar. Click here for information about how the World Bank classifies countries.

Updated Thresholds

New thresholds are determined at the start of the Bank’s fiscal year in July and remain fixed for 12 months regardless of subsequent revisions to estimates. As of July 1 2017, the new thresholds for classification by income are:

Threshold GNI/Capita (current US$)
Low-income < 1,005
Lower-middle income 1,006 - 3,955
Upper-middle income 3,956 - 12,235
High-income > 12,235

Changes in Classification

The following countries have new income groups:

Country Old group New group
Angola Upper-middle Lower-middle
Croatia High-income Upper-middle
Georgia Upper-middle Lower-middle
Jordan Upper-middle Lower-middle
Nauru High-income Upper-middle
Palau Upper-middle High-income
Samoa Lower-middle Upper-middle
Tonga Lower-middle Upper-middle

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.

Tables showing 2016 GNI, GNI per capita, GDP, GDP PPP, and Population data are also available as part of the World Bank's Open Data Catalog. Note that these are preliminary estimates and may be revised. For more information, please contact us at [email protected]


Submitted by Sepehr on

Thank you for the great stuff you gave.

It was a lot of interesting stuff that could be more about this...

Submitted by Johnson P. Mercader on


Submitted by sarah on


Submitted by Yasarah Qureshi on

Income Year Classification by Country-Year

Where can I find a country-year list classifying all countries by income level: low income, lower middle income, etc.. for that year, preferably from as early as 1980 to now in a an excel spreadsheet.

If as I have seen online that pre-2006 the world bank classified countries differently using indebtedness instead then what is the earliest year for which the income level classification for all countries for that yeat is availaible and where can i find this spreadsheet.

I look forward to your assistance and advice and thank you for your time.

All the best.

Yasarah Qureshi

Hello Yasarah, 

Thank you for inquiring. The income classification is in the same Excel sheet you downloaded. Just navigate to the Country Analytical History tab and you will see it. 


Add new comment