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What is the World Bank Atlas method?

The World Bank's official estimates of the size of economies and country classifications by income level are based on Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. For cross-national comparisons, estimates are converted from local currency units (LCU) to current U.S. dollars using the Atlas method, referring to a former World Bank publication called the Atlas of Global Development. The Atlas method smooths exchange rate fluctuations using a three-year moving average, price-adjusted conversion factor. The USD estimate of GNI per capita is derived by applying the Atlas conversion factor to estimates measured in LCU. For more details, see the detailed methodology page.

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