For those who hate GDP per capita

Chad Jones and Pete Klenow create a new summary statistic of welfare based on consumption, leisure, inequality, and mortality.

Western Europe looks considerably closer to U.S. living standards, emerging Asia has not caught up as much, and many African and Latin American countries are farther behind due to lower levels of life expectancy and higher levels of inequality.

In recent decades, rising life expectancy boosts annual growth in welfare by more than a full percentage point throughout much of the world.

The notable exception is sub-Saharan Africa, where life expectancy actually declines.