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Malaysia Income Classification: The Differences Between T20, M40, And B40 in Malaysia

The Malaysians Income are characterized into three different income groups: Top 20% (T20), Middle 40% (M40), and Bottom 40% (B40). This is based on the Department of Statistics’ (DOSM) Household Income and Basic Amenities (HIS/BA) survey of 2016. The HIS/BA is carried out twice every five years and DOSM is currently conducting the 2019 survey nationwide. Over the years, the level of income for every group has increased and this is one of the indicators of economic growth.

What is the B40, M40, T20 Group in Malaysia?

Ask yourself if you know which income group you belong to. Are you under Top 20% ( T20) Middle 40% or Bottom 40% (B40)? The T20 is defined as the class of citizens who have a median household income of at least RM13,148 while the M40 and the B40 groups median household are those who have a median household income of RM 6,725 and RM3,000 respectively.

According to the Household  Income and Basic Amenity Survey 2019, it stated that median household income for T20, M40 and B40 showing a compound annual growth rate of ( CAGR) of more than 6%. Although the income levels of each group have improved significantly over the last few years, we should not ignore the escalating costs of living resulting from inflation and slower wage group and the falling value of Malaysian Ringgit.

Concepts and Terms Used:

  • HOUSEHOLD: A person or a group of people (related or unrelated) who usually live together in living quarters and make provisions (expenses) for food and other necessities of life together. In 2016, the average size of Malaysian households was 4.1 persons.
  • INCOME RECIPIENT: Household members who receive income in the reference period of the survey, and with at least one income recipient. In 2016, average income recipients in Malaysia was 1.8 persons.
  • HOUSEHOLD INCOME: Overall income that is earned by every household member, whether in cash or kind and can be referred to as gross income. In 2016, the median and mean monthly income in Malaysian was RM5,228 and RM6,958 respectively.
  • MEAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME: is the “average” income number where all household incomes are added up and divided by the number of households.
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Median Monthly Income By Household Group

Household Group Median Income 2016 (RM) Median Income 2014 (RM) CAGR (%)
T20 13,148 11,610 6.2
M40 6,275 5,465 6.9
B40 3,000 2,629 6.6

Bear in mind that the income group definitions are not fixed. The names, B40, M40, and T20 represent percentages of the country’s population of Bottom 40%, Middle 40%, and Top 20%. The values may increase or decrease year-to-year, depending on the country’s GDP.

Now that you have a clearer picture of the different categories of median-income households, it’s time to figure out where you stand among T20, M40, and B40. You should also find out if your financial position is better or worse than the other states around Malaysia and look for other opportunities around states with higher median household income and start earning higher.

Use your skills to increase your household income by freelancing, tutoring or operating a small side business.

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