(Bloomberg Business) — The U.S. capped the first decade of this century with an unfortunate distinction: the only developed economy to slip backwards on the share of its people living on more than $50 a day.
This share of Americans dropped to 56 percent in 2011 from 58 percent 2001, according to the Pew Research Center’s report comparing the daily per capita income of 111 countries between 2001 and 2011. Median income per day dropped to $56.44 from $58.56.
In the vast majority of the world, as living standards improved, the share of people living on more than $50 a day rose along too. Even Greece saw its share more than double to 23 percent in 2011 (although this improvement will almost certainly be less impressive if the data stretched out to more recent years, given the continued contractions in Greece’s economy).