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, GDP expressed in PPP or primary household incomes expressed in purchasing power consumption standard are used as approximations.

European wealth

Purchasing power of per-capita GDP relative to Slovakia

2016ppseu150

Green - wealthiest
Yellow - above SK
White - Slovakia
Red - below SK
Blue - poorest
(Portugal is at the level of Slovakia; Eurostat for 2016)

The U.S. would rank below the four (incl. Luxembourg) wealthiest countries and above the rest of Europe.

PPP in capitals

Domestic purchasing power of an average net income in the Central European capitals (not regions; Zurich instead of Bern) relative to Bratislava's 100%:

261%   Zurich
189%   Berlin
187%   Vienna
100%   Bratislava
85%   Warsaw
82%   Prague
67%   Budapest

By comparison, the purchasing power calculated in the same manner for New York was 219%, for Chicago 200%.

(Data UBS for 2015)

Capitals

The per-capita GDP in PPP in the capitals as shown on the map is comparable only with Bratislava (244% of Slovakia's average), Prague (226%), Vienna (207%), and Berlin (156%), because those four countries report the metropolitan statistical areas of their capitals as separate units.

Warsaw, Budapest, and Ljubljana, by contrast, are not represented on their own. They are included in large regions, whose averages (142%, 140%, and 129% respectively) blend the cities with their regions, just as, e.g., Upper Bavaria's average of 234% dilutes the data for particularly wealthy Munich.

Household wealth

Household per-capita purchasing power relative to Slovakia's 100% in 2015 (no data for Czechia)2015householdppp150.

Actual individual consumption

165%   Switzerland
158%   Germany
153%   Austria
101%   Czechia
100%   Slovakia
97%   Poland
82%   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 above data are averaged for each country as a whole, without regional breakdowns. (Eurostat for 2016)

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:

560%   Switzerland
284%   Austria
276%   Germany
100%   Slovakia
94%   Czech R.
83%   Poland
67%   Hungary

(Data GfK 2015)

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.

2015ppsce350

The numbers show each statistical unit's GDP per-capita purchasing power relative to Slovakia's national average set at 100%. (Eurostat for 2015)

The yellow shading matches Slovakia's purchasing power range from the eastern region (70% of Slovakia's average) to Slovakia's average. 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 2015 would be represented by 188% in the map, i.e., below the metropolitan areas of Bratislava, Prague, and Vienna, and the regions of Upper Bavaria, Salzburg, and Bolzano, and ahead of the rest of the map above.

2015ppseu350

Green = above Slovakia's range (except Bratislava), yellow = within its range, red = below its range.

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 2015)