Take physic, pomp

For ten dollars a day, you too can be ‘Middle Class’

A study by Banco Santander yesterday got the chattering classes chattering and the feed-da-beast media reporting, with this link to Peru21’s coverage pretty typical of the fare on offer in many countries that came with this graphic.

Yup, it’s in Spanish, so this table generated from the main stats explains what’s going on in the tongue of Shakespeare and Walt Disney:
    % of “Middle Class” per country
Peru 57%
Colombia 61%
Brazil 64%
Mexico 68%
Argentina  71%
Uruguay 72%
Chile 77%
source: Banco Santander

In essence, the Santander study was to show what percentage of the LatAm countries in question can be put in the “middle class” earnings bracket, so looking down the list you have Peru at 57%, Chile at 77% etc etc. But on further reading of the actual report, you find that Santander call “middle class” anyone who earns U$10 or more per day.
Now…I’m good about U$10 per day as being a decent benchmark and gives us the like-for-like comparison of spending power across the region. That’s fine, but calling a $10/day earner “middle class”? It does seem like a way low barrier, an opinion that comes to you direct from the continent in question and from the fingers of a person that knows just what you can (and cannot) do with a household income of U$300 or so per month. Satellite TV? Internet in your house? A car? An iPhone/Blackberry? Fancy restaurant a couple of times a month? Forget them all right now.

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