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Visual comparison of income mountains on linear scale and log scale
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This knowledge is free to use under CC-BY License 4.0!
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This file is part of Gapminder's fact-base. Here's the link to the public share folder
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Updated by Ola Rosling on October 4, 2018
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When visualizing income, we don't use a linear scale, because the value of one dollar is not the same on different income levels.
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The value diminishes with higher incomes. Instead we use a doubling scale, or logarithmic scale, which makes doubling of incomes be the same distance, on all levels of income.
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The data below are used to compare the look of the curves when using a linear, vs doubling scales.
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These two graphs shows the same data but with different x-axis scales.
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Comparing the number of people on different income levels in Mexico and USA.
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Linear scale graph
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2016Number of people in each income bracket ( \$/day in constant ppp dollars 2011). The \$ value at the top of each column, represents the upper limit of the bracket and the reviouse column is the lower limit.Extreme poverty rate
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Linear brackets
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Mexico2786.964413299434.1822807383.42431511049.1442358700.2293174480.3663846952.9784339627.0024659245.3954830978.7554884720.8024848710.7444747112.9514599516.9254421271.9224224117.0384016856.2943805973.6953596153.3863390701.9393191882.8223001177.1232819484.5952647277.4682484717.4112331744.012188141.3652053587.9721927693.8611810028.0521700138.6721597567.5351501860.5231412574.8461329283.931251580.5671179078.7721111414.6821048246.777989255.6128934143.2082882632.2091834464.9053789402.1639747222.324707720.086670705.417636002.4902603448.6681572893.5359544197.9899517233.3818491880.7188468029.919445579.1202424434.0394404507.3806385718.2879367991.8416351258.5936335454.1398320518.7269306396.8906293037.1231280391.5673268415.7363257068.2544246310.6207236106.9903226423.9744217230.4551208497.4166200197.7885192306.3026184799.3606177654.9121170852.3428164372.3708158196.9511152309.1884146693.2548141334.316136218.4611131332.6393126664.6006122202.8407117936.5509113855.571109950.3459106211.8851
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US0.00032435139.23634244822.86697884156.7288311935.7782725635.997846364.4422574947.06215111946.2034157647.9142212056.6903274910.6502345715.1669423787.768508307.0461598360.1242692985.2826791208.0523892070.2804994652.42521098089.7611201583.3541304406.721405909.0241505515.5851602726.3721697113.0221788314.8561876034.241960031.5782040120.162116161.0162188057.9042255752.5132319219.9292378464.4092433515.472484424.3112531260.5522574109.2822613068.4142648246.3152679759.6952707731.7462732290.52753567.3872771695.9822786810.9222799046.9622808538.1822815417.2962819815.0872821859.9212821677.3562819389.8232815116.3652808972.4442801069.7912791516.3012780415.9622767868.8272753970.9992738814.6512722488.0592705075.6592686658.1072667312.3642647111.7772626126.1792604421.9842582062.2992559107.0252535612.9692511633.9572487220.9452462422.1262437283.0462411846.7062386153.6752360242.1912334148.2652307905.7792281546.5832255100.5922228595.8732202058.7362175513.8182148984.1622122491.3032096055.336
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Log scale graph
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2016
Number of people in each income bracket ( \$/day in constant ppp dollars 2011). The \$ value at the top of each column, represents the upper limit of the bracket and the previous column is the lower limit. The brackets width increases exponentially, at a rate of 1.148698355 which gives a doubling within 5 brackets.
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Exponentially increasing brackets
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0.0080.0090.010.0120.0140.0160.0180.0210.0240.0270.0310.0360.0410.0470.0540.0630.0720.0820.0950.1090.1250.1440.1650.1890.2180.250.2870.330.3790.4350.50.570.660.760.8711.151.321.521.7422.32.643.033.4844.595.286.066.9689.1910.5612.1313.931618.421.124.327.93236.842.248.555.76473.584.497111.4128147168.9194222.925629433838844651258867677689110241176135115521783
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Mexico000000000011361223458716330054095616572817469776831232819408299884549267791993021431002030682840723921805348907213089621671269496165574521321582706327337906041410164969850582880666676767426638804289084591728632623854205281919357612110685319559787555055974414680633012112553436192141914087471008184705702484203326387216606141797917005864137095232091435387655280313418311052594329179965026136311
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US00000000000000000000000000000114921501132515401128229445358722163262976352891917031552772570124161666595911023380155385123069263344644472758065024518685529112444431408301217035039198724382233020924145913251060072508777424085343222121441967882616752792137103811079374881815945977643421536328736901897229121539175700445932127198315740089116493882679414224738437451854895421
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The number of people in each income bracket was calculated by based on estimates of Mean Houshold Income and a common assumption about lognormal distribution of people over income.
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Documented here:
gapm.io/ddocincm
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geonameregionrest_westyeargini
household_income
population
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mexMexicoameRest201648.74086127540423
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usaUnited StatesameWest20164124051322179605
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