Per-capita GDP in PPP

While highly approximate, per-capita gross domestic product expressed in purchasing power parity is the commonly calculated index closest to a representation of people's relative wealth.

Better calculations of relative wealth take account of people's incomes, taxation, health care cost, and other factors. Due to the complexity of raw-data gathering and factor selection among countries with different legislations and welfare systems, there are no broad regional comparisons with greater accuracy than per-capita GDP expressed in PPP or primary household incomes expressed in purchasing power consumption standard.

European wealth

Purchasing power of per-capita GDP relative to Slovakia

euwealth150

Green - wealthiest
Yellow - above SK
White - Slovakia, Portugal, Greece (equal GDP/PPP)
Red - below SK
Blue - poorest
(Eurostat for 2012)

PPP in capitals

Domestic purchasing power of an average annual net income in the Central European capital cities (not regions) relative to Bratislava's 100%:

242%   Zurich
180%   Berlin
164%   Vienna
100%   Bratislava
89%   Prague
74%   Warsaw
64%   Budapest

Data by UBS for 2012 (no data for Bern).

By comparison, the purchasing power calculated in the same manner for New York was 219%, for Chicago 200% (no data for Washington).

Capitals

The purchasing power in the capitals as shown on the map is comparable only with the data for Bratislava (247% of Slovakia's average), Prague (225%), Vienna (219%), and Berlin (150%), because those four countries report the metropolitan statistical areas of their capitals as separate units.

Budapest, Warsaw, and Ljubljana, by contrast, are not represented on their own. They are included in large regions, which increases those regions' averages (to 146%, 141%, and 133% respectively), just as, e.g., Upper Bavaria's average of 223% is elevated by the inclusion of particularly wealthy Munich.

Household wealth

2012householdppp150

Household per-capita purchasing power relative to Slovakia's 100% in 2012.

Exchange rate

The spread of per-capita purchasing power based on exchange rates, shown below relative to Slovakia's 100%, is wider than other indicators of wealth in Central Europe:

486%   Switzerland
285%   Austria
276%   Germany
100%   Slovakia
98%   Czech R.
79%   Poland
67%   Hungary

Data by GfK GeoMarketing, 2013.

Actual individual consumption

176%   Switzerland
167%   Germany
162%   Austria
100%   Slovakia
99%   Poland
98%   Czech R.
86%   Hungary

AIP adds up people's own purchasing power and goods and services individuals receive for free from various agencies (e.g., health care).

The data are averaged for each country as a whole, without regional breakdowns. (Eurostat for 2012)

Relative wealth

Q: How does Slovak income compare to Central Europe?

In general, wealth in Slovakia and all of Central Europe drops along the line from west to east (it drops in the reverse direction in Western Europe). The countries to the east and south-east, in turn, have lower purchasing power than Central Europe. From a historical perspective, it is unlikely to change without a concerted effort – the pattern has been in place for much of the past millennium.

2011ppsce350

The numbers show each statistical unit's GDP per-capita purchasing power relative to Slovakia's national average set at 100%. (Eurostat for 2011)

The yellow shading matches Slovakia's purchasing power range from the eastern region (68% of Slovakia's average) to the country's average (100%). Green = above the range, yellow = within the range, red = below the range. The range leaves out Bratislava's metropolitan statistical area taken in isolation, but its purchasing power is included in the national average.

By comparison, the U.S. national purchasing power average calculated in the same manner for the year 2011 would be represented by 199% in the map, i.e., below the metropolitan areas of Bratislava, Vienna, and Prague, and the region of Bavaria, and higher than the rest of the map above.

2011ppseu350

While there was no match at the collapse of communism in 1989, the hampered Central European countries began to match or surpass the per-capita GDP/PPP in unaffected Europe's outlying areas from around the mid-2000s. The capitals rose far above their countries earlier. (Eurostat for 2011)