Ukraine enters World Bank's upper-middle-income country list for first time

Ukraine has entered the World Bank's list of upper-middle-income countries for the first time in its history, according to the bank's updated rankings.

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Ukraine's upward reclassification resulted from the economic recovery in 2023 (real GDP grew by 5.3%, following a 28.8% decline in 2022) combined with a population decrease of more than 15% after Russia's full-scale invasion.

These factors were further amplified by rising prices for domestically produced goods and services, leading to a significant 18.5% increase in nominal gross national income per capita (Atlas method).

The World Bank notes that while Ukraine's economy suffered significant losses due to the war, real growth in 2023 was driven by construction activity (24.6%), reflecting a substantial increase in investment spending (52.9%) for Ukraine's reconstruction.

Gross national income is the sum of value added by resident producers plus any product taxes (minus subsidies) and net receipts of primary income from abroad. GNI is calculated in national currency but converted to dollars by the World Bank using a special Atlas method to smooth price and exchange rate fluctuations.

For most of its independence, Ukraine was classified as a lower-middle-income country in the World Bank rankings, even falling into the low-income category from 1999 to 2001.

As of 2024, the World Bank's income categories based on GNI per capita are:

→ Low-income countries: $1,145 or less
→ Lower-middle-income countries: $1,136 - $4,515
→ Upper-middle-income countries: $4,516 - $14,005
→ High-income countries: $14,006 or more

Ukraine's figure stands at $5,070.

Ukraine's neighbors in the ranking are Equatorial Guinea and Tonga.

The World Bank notes that it uses statistical data not only from Ukraine but also from the UN and Russia, which has occupied Sevastopol, Crimea, and partially four other Ukrainian regions: Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Kherson.

Read also: Ukraine's Ministry of Economy forecasts sharp GDP acceleration from 2026