The world is not an equal place, and some places are a lot more unequal than others.

A national political border can have incredible significance; an abstract line separating neighboring peoples, economies, even life expectancies. Using GDP per capita as an indicator (sourcing the most recent Central Intelligence Agency data), the wealth divide between these four pairs of countries is vast … even though they geographically sit side by side.

(GDP defined)

Click on each country below to see the extent of the financial divide.
(I’ll leave it to you to figure out why this is.)

Kuwait and Iraq

Difference in GDP per capita: $38,300

United States and Mexico

Difference in GDP per capita: $34,200

Brunei and Malaysia

Difference in GDP per capita: $34,200 (tied with U.S.- Mexico)

North Korea and South Korea

Difference in GDP per capita: $30,000

Eight Neighboring Nations with the World’s Largest Wealth Gaps 3 October,2015Matthew Green


Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @MGreenKQED

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