How Rich Are You?

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You’re richer than you think. 

At least according to Poke, a London-based creative company that specializes in interactive media. Their Web site, The Global Rich List generates a wealth ranking for its users based on their annual income. 

For example, if you make $52,000 a year (the median American household income for 2009), you are the 58,252,719 richest person in the world (or in the top 0.97 percentile of all moneymakers). 

Someone who makes half of that ($26,000 a year) is still in the top 10%, ranked 569,942,529 on the Global Rich List.

These calculations are based on figures from the World Bank Development Research Group. To calculate an individual’s position on the list, Poke assumes that the world's total population is 6 billion and the average worldwide annual income is $5,000.

The site uses your wealth ranking to invite you to share your wealth with others. It told me, for example, I could buy 25 fruit trees for farmers in Honduras for just $8 (as opposed to 12 organic oranges for the same price) or a $30 first aid kit for a village in Haiti (instead of an ER DVD box set). However silly these suggestions may be (who spends $30 to watch ER?), charitable giving is clearly the point.           

According to the site, Poke “wanted to do something which would help people understand, in real terms, where they stand globally. They want us to realize that, in fact, most of us who are able to view this web page are in the privileged minority.”

So in case you’re missing the subtext here … the site doesn’t exist just so you can tell all of your friends just how rich you are. 

 —For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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