According to the World Bank, middle-income countries (or MICs) are nations that have a per capita gross national income (GNI) between $1,026 and $12,475.
World Bank has historically broken-down countries’ economies into three categories: high income, middle income, and low income. Now economies are further specified, with middle economies broken down into two different groups: lower-middle-income countries and upper-middle-income countries. This is because middle-income economies are diverse in their regions, sizes, populations, and income levels. Lower middle-income nations have a GNI per capita of $1,026 to $3,995. Upper middle-income countries have a GNI per capita of $3,996 to $12,475.
There are approximately 5 billion people live within MICs. These nations represent approximately one-third of global GDP, and over 70% of people in the world live in MICs. There are a total of 105 MICs, some of which are lower-middle-income and some that are upper-middle-income. Both lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries face their separate challenges. Lower-middle-income countries typically struggle to provide their citizens with essential services such as clean water. Upper-middle-income countries might face government problems such as corruption.
Middle-income countries are also essential to global economic growth. Growth in MICs, according to the World Bank, has positive ripple effects on other countries such as international trade, reduction of border conflicts, sustainable energy development, and food and water security.