Westerners are pretty rich

You may think your salary is paltry, but compared with most of the world's population, you're up there with Bill Gates. A new website, the Global Rich List, starkly illustrates the worldwide distribution of wealth.

For example, individuals in the United States who make less than $9,300 are officially poor, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of poverty. But compared with the rest of the world, their income is in the top 12 percent.

An annual household income of $42,200 --the U.S. median in 2001-- is enough to land someone in the world's richest 1 percent, according to the site.

"The idea is to really make people think about how rich they are compared to the rest of the world," said Nicolas Roope, one of the site's creators.

[Source: Leander Kahney, in Wired]

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