Britain richer than USA

  VNAM75 12:25 07 Jan 08
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£250 richer, which is nothing. Some points/questions I thought were interesting:

1) GB is a lot more expensive than the US for most things, so based on ppp we're not really better off at all. I thought Hong Kong would be more expensive when I went back in Feb 07 but a big mac meal was only about £1.66.

2) Further to this, based on ppp China is the 2nd largest economy in the world and set to surpass US sooner than most people think.

3) Had the US really overtaken the UK in terms of wealth by some pont in the 19th century? I thought the UK was at its peak then - industrial revolution...etc

4) In general terms , has the UK performed better than Europe because it has followed the more capitalist model of the US rather than sign up to EU monetary union?

  tullie 12:32 07 Jan 08

Just shows you,you can do anything in theory with figures.
Wish i was on the stated £23,500.It is just not reality for a lot of workers in this country,or any other for that matter.

  mrwoowoo 20:15 07 Jan 08

So the average UK person will this year have a greater income than their US counterpart.
And the UK's GDP per head of population is £250 per head of population more than the USA.
Well,since our tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is 37% and the USA is 26.8% i would say each and every one of is is a darn site worse of in real terms than our cousins across the pond.
Also we pay more for almost everything in rip off Brittain than most other countries.
Shame that the government doesn't share some of our new found wealth out in the form of less taxation,since they seem to invent a new one every other day.

  DrScott 20:19 07 Jan 08

all it shows is that the UK is more expensive than the USA as a place to live.

I'm sure it has something to do with our inflation...

(furiously biting tongue to avoid ranting on about GB and his economic policies!)

  oresome 20:23 07 Jan 08

Some would argue our wealth is shared out. But on public services rather than in individual's pockets.

  PalaeoBill 21:34 07 Jan 08

A trip the USA will show just how much you can lie with statistics. In my experience the average Joe, homeowner in work, has a greater disposable income and greater material wealth than we do. The poor in the USA are truly poor, on a scale rarely seen here in the UK, and that may be what is skewing the figures.

  Forum Editor 22:57 07 Jan 08

I'm not so sure about "The poor in the USA are truly poor, on a scale rarely seen here in the UK".

There are roughly 37 million people who are technically classed as 'poor' in America, an enormous number in anyone's books, but.........

Those households that are in the lowest 20% in terms of expenditure per head are at a level of expenditure that equals the median for all american households in the early 1970's, after adjustment for inflation.

According to statistics the typical American officially defined as 'poor' has a car (a third of poor households have two), air conditioning, a refrig­erator, a stove, a washing machine, a dryer, and a microwave. He has two colour TVs, a cable or satellite service, a DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded ( he has more personal living space that the average Londoner - not the average poor Londoner). He says his family is not hungry and that he had suf­ficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs.

Everything's relative.

  Stuartli 00:54 08 Jan 08

There are statistics - and there are statistics.

Whatever suits the purpose is to the fore.

  PalaeoBill 08:55 08 Jan 08

I can only go on what I have seen with my own eyes. I have seen how the poor live in Tyneside and how they live in Brooklyn and the geordies have the better deal.

  interzone55 09:28 08 Jan 08

One more thing that will be skewing the figures is that the top 1% of earners in the UK took home 13% of the GDP. Several premier league players earn twice the average annual wage every week!

2006 was the only year that I earned this mythical "average wage" and that's because I was made redundant from one job and trousered 3 months salary in November, so I took 15 months pay in a year.

I think there's many others where the combined household income barely reaches the national average single wage.

  PalaeoBill 15:32 08 Jan 08

Ah forum member, I feel I must defend alan14 and disagree with you.
In reality almost all averages are 'mythical' by the very nature of their calculation.
Mathematically there is the mean which is almost always useless, the modal which can be useful if the data lends itself to it and the median which is only really uselful if you have a normal distribution.
When you start stripping the data to remove the rich and the poor and then attempt to work out what most people earn you enter the realms of true myth.

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