The COVID-19 pandemic is having a deep effect on living standards around the world. A recent Pew Research Center analysis found that the global middle class encompassed 54 million fewer people in 2020 than the number projected prior to the onset of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the number of poor is estimated to have been 131 million higher because of the economic downturn.

In percentage terms, 17% of the global population could be considered middle income in 2020. Most people were either low income (51%) or poor (10%), while nearly 15% lived at an upper-middle-income standard and 7% were high income.

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