The World Bank classifies economies for analytical purposes into four income groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high income. For this purpose it uses gross national income (GNI) per capita data in U.S. dollars, converted from local currency using the World Bank Atlas method, which is applied to smooth exchange rate fluctuations.
Estimates of GNI are obtained from economists in World Bank country units who rely primarily on official data published by the countries; the size of the population is estimated by World Bank demographers from a variety of sources, including the UN’s biennial World Population Prospects.
Countries are classified each year on July 1, based on the estimate of their GNI per capita for the previous calendar year. Income groupings remain fixed for the entire World Bank fiscal year (i.e., until July 1 of the following year), even if GNI per capita estimates are revised in the meantime.
Prior to FY19, the income category of a country was not one of the factors which influenced lending decisions. Starting in FY19, there will be surcharges in IBRD loan pricing for High income countries as described in the Development Committee Paper "Sustainable Finance for Sustainable Development” (DC2018-002/P, April 21, 2018).
Click here to access the complete list of countries by income group.
Groupings are primarily based on the regions used for administrative purposes by the World Bank. There are two main variants: one which includes all economies, and one which excludes high-income economies (see list and definition of income groups).
Click here to access the complete list of countries by region.