We may fret about the price of gas, but at least 85% of the world’s population doesn’t own a car.
We may hate to pay the utility bill each month, but nearly one-quarter of the world lives without electricity and one-third doesn’t have access to basic sanitation, such as a toilet. More than 1 billion people don’t have adequate access to clean water.
Even people below the poverty line in the U.S. — which now includes one in seven Americans — are better off than the vast majority of humanity. Someone earning just $11,000 a year, which is just below the poverty level, actually has more income than 87% of the people on the planet. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day, or $730 a year.
You needed an adjusted gross income of $343,927 to make it into the top 1% of U.S. taxpayers in 2009, the latest year for which Internal Revenue Service statistics are available. On the other hand, the U.S. median household income of $51,914 would put you in the top 1% worldwide.