Kids at every income level reveal their favorite toys

A Haitian child shows his favorite toy: a tennis ball.

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A Haitian child shows his favorite toy: a tennis ball.
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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

  • A project from the Gapminder Foundation photographs families around the world to give a glimpse into their lives.
  • This slideshow contains families who make $45 a month to those making more than $3,000 a month.

If you want to understand the world, look at how people live. Toys are a good place to start.

Dollar Street, a project from the Gapminder Foundation, went into hundreds of homes at different income levels around the world to photograph people’s possessions. The photographs provide an intimate glimpse into the lives of hundreds of families. The difference in income is striking. Yet there are a number of similarities between people of vastly different income levels, too.

“It’s striking to see how similar our lives are,” Gapminder co-founder Anna Rosling Rönnlund told Business Insider. “It makes the world less scary to see that most people struggle with everyday business most of the time and they are not so exotic and it’s not so scary.”

Below, check out some favorite toys around the world.

Gus Lubin contributed to a previous version of this story.


In an Indian home living on $29/month per adult, the favorite toy is a plastic bottle.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In an Ivorian home (Cote d’Ivoire) living on $61/month per adult, the favorite toy is a shoe.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Burundian home living on $29/month per adult, the favorite toy is dried maize.

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Johan Eriksson for Dollar Street

In a Zimbabwean home living on $34/month per adult, the favorite toy is a home-made ball.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Haitian home living on $39/month per adult, the favorite toy is a tennis ball.

A Haitian child shows his favorite toy: a tennis ball.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Zimbabwean home living on $41/month per adult, the favorite toy is an old toy car.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Bolivian home living on $254/month per adult, the favorite toy is a stuffed toy.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Burkinabe home living on $45/month per adult, the favorite toy is a broken plastic doll.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Haitian home living on $39/month per adult, the favorite toy car made out of recycled plastic items.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Burkinabe home living on $54/month per adult, the favorite toy is a tire.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Haitian home living on $102/month per adult, the favorite toy is a handheld video game.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In an Indian home living on $65/month per adult, the favorite toy is a home-made cricket bat.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In an Indian home living on $80/month per adult, the favorite toy is a broken plastic doll.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Filipino home living on $98/month per adult, the favorite toys are action figures.

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Luc Forsyth for Dollar Street

In a Palestinian home living on $112/month per adult, the favorite toy is a plastic bottle.

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Eman Jomaa for Dollar Street

In a Colombian home living on $123/month per adult, the favorite toy is a soccer ball.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Nigerian home living on $124/month per adult, the favorite toys are wooden poles.

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Johan Eriksson for Dollar Street

In a Colombian home living on $145/month per adult, the favorite toy is a plastic ball.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Colombian home living on $163/month per adult, the favorite toy is a cat.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Filipino home living on $170/month per adult, the favorite toy is a plastic doll.

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Luc Forsyth for Dollar Street

In a Tunisian home living on $176/month per adult, the favorite toy is a teddy bear.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Tunisian home living on $218/month per adult, the favorite toy is a scooter.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In an Indian home living on $245/month per adult, the favorite toy is a toy truck.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Jordanian home living on $249/month per adult, the favorite toy is a stuffed animal.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Rwandan home living on $251/month per adult, the favorite toy is a stick.

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Johan Eriksson for Dollar Street

In a Indian home living on $170/month per adult, the favorite toy is a bunch of marbles.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In an American home living on $3 450/month per adult, the favorite toy is an iPhone.

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Elizabeth Barentine for Dollar Street

In a Bolivian home living on $254/month per adult, the favorite toy is a soccer ball.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Bolivian home living on $265/month per adult, the favorite toy is a toy truck.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Cambodian home living on $463/month per adult, the favorite toy is a puppy.

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Luc Forsyth for Dollar Street

In a Ukrainian home living on $476/month per adult, the favorite toy is a cell phone.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Latvian home living on $480/month per adult, the favorite toy is a stuffed animal.

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Johan Eriksson for Dollar Street

In a Jordanian home living on $583/month per adult, the favorite toy is a table computer.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Ukrainian home living on $694/month per adult, the favorite toy is a Lego figurine.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Mexican home living on $1,093/month per adult, the favorite toy is an electric guitar.

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Lucia Rodrigez for Dollar Street

In a Swedish home living on $2,223/month per adult, the favorite toys are plastic dolls

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Chinese home living on $2,235/month per adult, the favorite toy is a military tank model.

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Benikhlef Abdelhak for Dollar Street

In a Kenyan home living on $3,268/month per adult, the favorite toy is a tablet computer.

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Johan Selin for Dollar Street

In a Nepalese home living on $3,829/month per adult, the favorite toy is a teddy bear.

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Luc Forsyth for Dollar Street

In an American home living on $4,650/month per adult, the favorite toy is baseball gear.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Swedish home living on $4,883/month per adult, the favorite toy is a Lego set.

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Moa Karlberg for Dollar Street

In a Jordanian home living on $7,433/month per adult, the favorite toy is a large stuffed animal.

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Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

In a Latvian home living on $11,381/month per adult, the favorite toy is a stuffed animal.

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Johan Eriksson for Dollar Street

In case you were wondering, here’s a look at world population by income. It’s a continuous scale — not a clear divide between the haves and the have-nots — with most people in the middle.

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gapminder.org

Income is rising everywhere and has been for the past 200 years. Here’s Hans Rosling’s famous presentation on that trend.


Inequality is a problem, but progress is real.

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Kevork Djansezian / Getty

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