Defining who’s rich: How rich is “rich” in the Philippines?

Who are considered “rich” in the Philippines?

It’s supposedly easy if we define “rich” as those belonging to the list of the Top 10 Richest Filipinos. However, even if your net worth does not run into billions of pesos, you may still be considered “rich” as per the definition of the National Statical Coordination Board (NSCB).

Based on the NSCB computations, using the Family Income and Expenditure Surveys (FIES) and the Labor Force Survey (LFS), a family in the Philippines must earn at least PhP 2,393,126 a year or PhP 199,927 a month to be counted as part of the high-income class in 2010.

Simply stated, your family should be earning P200,000 a month or P2.4 million a year to be considered “rich” in the Philippines.

The Rich, the Poor and the Middle Class

Rich people are indeed a rarity, with rich families numbering only 20,000 or 0.1% of the total 17.4 million families in the country.

The middle class, on the other hand, earns an average of P36,934 per month. This translates to around P500,000 per year.

The low income class, meanwhile, earns an average of P9,061 per month or around P110,000 per year.

Predictors of Wealth

The NSCB also identified three predictors that are consistently significant for the high income group. These are:

  1. household head working as corporate executives, managers, managing proprietors, supervisors, officials of government and special interest organizations;
  2. household owns at least three air conditioning units; and
  3. owns at least three cars / vehicles

This means if the household head is a top executive or business owner or a politician, the family owns at least 3 cars, and their house has at least 3 aircon units, then that family is most probably rich.

Breakdown of Family Expenditures

All families regardless of income spend more on food and rent/rental value of their house.

Food expense of high income families, however, represent only 21% or one-fifth of total expenditures while for the low income families, this already reaches 53.4%.

This figure only goes to show that the poor already spend half of their hard-earned money on food.

For the high-income families, their top 3 expenditures are:

  • Food – 21.1%
  • Housing and shelter – 16.6%
  • Transportation and communication – 12.5%

Middle-class families share the same top expenditures, although their spending has a different percentage compared to the high-income families:

  • Food – 34.8%
  • Housing and shelter – 13.9%
  • Transportation and communication – 9.8%

Low-income families do prioritize spending on the basic essentials, such as food, housing, and utilities such as fuel, light and water:

  • Food – 53.4%
  • Housing and shelter – 10.7%
  • Fuel, light and water – 7.7%


Now that you know who the rich and poor are in the Philippines, where do you categorize yourself? Are you part of the high income, the middle income, or the low income segment of the Philippines?

Source: NSCB

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47 thoughts on “Defining who’s rich: How rich is “rich” in the Philippines?”

  1. I would like for people to think about this. It is not how much money that you make but, what you do with what you make. Money is a tool. If you don’t understand why you are working and what you are working for. You will always be poor. Stop being a consumer. You do not work to give your money away. You are working for your freedom! You are working so that one day your money that you have saved will make enough money so that you can live on the money that your money makes for you! That is when you become wealthy. That is when you obtain your FREEDOM ! This is the mind set that you must have if you want to stop being a slave to the system. Once you learn this way if thinking and teach it to your kids your family is on it’s way to becoming rich and staying rich! This is so simple! You have to start when you are young, Always set a percentage of what every you make (5,10,15 or 20%) Start by putting this money in a savings account and never touch it. Once this money has reached an amount that can be put into a CD account, which will pay higher interest. Always look for the bank that will the higher amount when it comes time to renew the term. This is your freedom money. one day the interest form this money will pay your bills. This does not mean that you will not try to save in other accounts to obtain thing that you want, but this money should not be touch unless you are making a sure fired investment, like buying an apartment building or something that will give you a residual income higher than the CD that can not fail to to produce that income! Oh! Do not give this money away to any family member for any reason! See Simple! you didn’t have to buy a book to learn the basic way that the poor become wealthy! This info comes from a person that was a poor Black man in the USA that loves the Filipino People! Your money is your Freedom! Stop being a consumer and be a builder of wealth! Signed F.T.

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