UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: July 2, 301 AP.

Economists estimate Utania's poverty

Reserve Bank of Utania economists have completed a portion of their economic
model for the country and determined that the wealthiest 20% of the country
earn almost 19 times the total earnings of the poorest 20% of the nation.

Economists have been working on the model for months, and gained a boost in
their work by analysing the census data. The model shows the average income
(total income divided by working population) is Û20,900, but half the country
are earning less than Û12,000. In addition, it requires an income of only
Û30,000 to be part of the top 20% earners in the country. The total income for
the country would therefore be Û422 billion, which means the economy is likely
to be slightly higher than the previously estimated Û500 billion. Furthermore,
it estimates that the workforce of 20.2 million is made up of 5 million
non-Utani and 15.5 million Utani. The preliminary analysis of the income of the
Utanian population is also showing a significant inequality in the distribution
of income.

The Lorenz ratio, which measures the total income for the top 20% of the
population over the total income of the bottom 20% of the population, is an
indication of the equitable manner in which income is distributed. While no
figures are available for other nations, most modern democracies have a ratio
of around 8 or 9, with the smaller the number the more equitable the income
distribution. Utania has a ratio of 18.9.

<tech> And for some earth comparisons... UK ~10*, UK (1979) ~6, USA ~13*,
Poland (1987) ~3.5, Sri Lanka (1985) ~8, Brazil (1983) ~21, and Australia 10.6.
* Those two are only guestimates based on my limited memory, while the
others I know. The Lorenz curve and ratio used to be a lot more influential
before the 1980s boom, when the wealthy were making too much money and such
measures, showing it, were apparently deemed counter-productive. </tech>

There are over ten million Utanians earning less than Û12,000 (C4,000 on
straight currency conversion, but estimated to be equivalent to C6,000 based on
average cost of goods in either nation) and 90% of the population earn less
than Û50,000 (~C25,000). The poverty line, say the economists, is about Û5,200,
which means almost ten million people (19.5%) live below the poverty line.

At the other end of the scale, the top 20% of earners -- all four million of
them -- earn at least Û30,000 each year, which is not a particularly high
income in Utania. The country is estimated to have less than ten thousand
millionaires, being people earning in excess of Û400,000, and therefore likely
to have more than a million pund in disposable assets. There is only 540 people
earning in excess of a million pund every year, and only one earning more than
ten million.

<tech> Recent surveys declared there was seven million millionaires on earth </tech>

All numbers, say the economists, are only estimates which will provide analysis
tools for income taxes for the federal government. The authors did note that
they felt "significant" upper incomes, particularly earnings from corporate
dividend payments were missing from the model. However, as they are based on
the best analysis to date, they reflect the likely truth +/- 5%.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)