New World Bank country classifications by income level: 2022-2023
Zimbabwe classified as Lower Middle-income. See New World Bank country classifications by income level: 2022-2023. Now implementing NDS1, towards upper middle-income category by 2030…Prof Mthuli Ncube
For the current 2023 fiscal year, low-income economies are defined as those with a GNI per capita, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method, of $1,085 or less in 2021; lower middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $1,086 and $4,255; upper middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $4,256 and $13,205; high-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $13,205 or more.
The stars of southern Arica are Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The three are among 5 of the African states in the Upper-middle Income group.
In SADC, the quartet of Zimbabwe, Angola, Zwaziland and Eswathini are classified in the Lower-Middle income group while Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar are classified as low income countries.
The World Bank assigns the world’s economies to four income groups—low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high income. The classifications are updated each year on July 1 and are based on the GNI per capita of the previous year (2021). GNI measures are expressed in United States dollars (USD), and are determined using conversion factors derived according to the Atlas method.
Classifications can change for two reasons:
- Changes to Atlas GNI per capita: In each country, factors such as economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population growth influence the level of Atlas GNI per capita. Revisions to improve national accounts estimates and methods can also have an impact. Updated data on Atlas GNI per capita for 2021 can be accessed here.
- Changes to classification thresholds: To keep income classification thresholds fixed in real terms, they are adjusted annually for inflation using the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) deflator, a weighted average of the GDP deflators of China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Euro Area.
Economies moving to a lower income group
While a rebound in the price of copper boosted Zambia’s GDP in 2021, a sharp deterioration in exchange rates led to a large decrease in Atlas GNI per capita expressed in US dollars, reclassifying the country to the low-income group.