Stiftelsen Gapminder

Welcome to Dollar Street – where country stereotypes fall apart

Pressmeddelande   •   Okt 18, 2016 12:40 CEST

Imagine the world as a street. All houses are lined up by income, the poor living to the left and the rich to the right. Everybody else somewhere in between. Where would you live? Would your life look different than your neighbours’ from other parts of the world, who share the same income level? Dollar Street lets you find out. Welcome!

Our goal with Dollar Street is to make everyone understand how people really live. Beyond the stereotypes and clichés. In a way, it's statistics that you can see, without having to learn how to read them. It's photos as data. Free for everyone to use and explore.

Dollar Street is a website where we have collected imagery from homes from all over the World. Today we feature more than 200 homes in about 50 countries. In total we have 30 000 photos and 10 000 videos from these homes.

The concept Dollar Street was invented by Anna Rosling Rönnlund at Gapminder. It has been funded mainly by a grant the Swedish Postcode Foundation. Our ultimate goal is to make Dollar Street a collaborative platform, in which anyone will be able to upload photos of homes and make them comparable to others around the world. Users are free to reuse, edit and share the images (Creative Commons 4.0 License).

Visit to find out how people really lives!

Dollar Street is developed by Gapminder. Gapminder is an independent Swedish foundation with no political, religious or economic affiliations. We fight devastating misconceptions about global development with a fact-based worldview everyone can understand. We produce free teaching-resources based on reliable statistics. We collaborate with universities, UN organisations, public agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Head of Design & User Experience

Co-Founder of Gapminder

Personal mission: To make it easy for anyone to understand the world visually.

Always with the end user at heart, Anna currently spends her days making sure everything we make at Gapminder is easy to use and easy to understand. Passionate about the visual side of data, she invented the photo-based project Dollar Street, on which she has made two popular TEDx talks. Anna has a Bachelor Degree in Photography and a Masters Degree in Social Sciences with a major in Sociology. Her focus is as always the big picture – knowing that: what you see is what you understand.


Similarities on same income

To see all stoves, click

Download the above images and more at

Quotes by Anna Rosling Rönnlund

“The news show us images from other countries. We see wars, disasters, pandemics, refugees, corruption, animals, paradise beaches and exotic ethnic groups. All these things are extraordinary! In the rest of the world there seem to be no ordinary people and no everyday life.”

“If you search for “sofa” on Google, you will find the fancy sofas affordable only to the richest percents of the world population. On Dollar Street you find the real sofas. On all income levels.”

“Nobody wants to be described as a strange characters in a fairytale. But to get our attention, that’s how the media portray people in other countries.”

“Most people hate stats. But on Dollar Street we use photos as data, which let you see the reality behind the numbers.”

“Country averages are misleading. Differences within countries are huge. But it’s also misleading to talk about the gap between the richest and the poorest, because most people live in the middle.”

“People from different continents, with the same income, are neighbours on Dollar Street. The way people live on the same income levels is often surprisingly similar.”

“I came up with the Dollar Street idea 16 years ago as I was studying to become a photographer and sociologist. I had not traveled to many countries, and even if I was going through a lot of data, it was hard to get an image of life on different income levels. What kind of toilet do people have on different income levels? By using photos as data, we can find out. Without travelling. ”

The Dollar Street Message

Dollar Street has two main messages

  1. Many people think of the world as being divided in two groups. It is not. Dollar Street makes that obvious.
  1. Media shows people in other countries as being strange and hard to understand. They are not. All people are fully occupied trying to meet the universal human needs (like eat, sleep, pee & play).

What problems Dollar Street solves

  1. “The world is divided in two”

  • People have a feeling that there are two ways of life (poor/rich). But most people are somewhere in-between.
  1. “Other people are strange”

  • Media show us extraordinary people and events.
  • Makes people in other cultures and countries seem strange...

How Dollar Street solves it

  • 1. Dollar Street shows that difference in living conditions doesn’t fall into categories or two groups: The “We/Them” feeling is wrong:

    • Rich/poor: There is no gap... most people live somewhere inbetween the poor and the rich.
    • Muslims/Christians, identical material solutions.
    • North/South: Rich Africans and Mexicans live like their Northern neighbours.
    • East/West: Asians consume the same products if they can afford it : Soft beds for example.

Colors: Pink - Asia, Yellow - Europe, Green - The Americas, Blue - Africa. There is no gap between the rich

and the poor, most people live in between. To see the full tool here:

  • 2. Dollar Street shows the unseen:

    • A broad sample of families on all income levels
    • Images of everyday life, showing how people on all different income levels meet their universal human needs. The cultural differences are minimal in most cases. Instead; income level often explains why a family live the life they live.

What we launch

  • An idea !!!
  • A website: for exploring an ever growing image bank
  • A visual framework for teachers
  • An invitation to collaborate with photographers and teachers across the world
  • Free images: CC license