Michelle’s $12,000 Dress Cost More Than Median Yearly Household Income Worldwide of $9,733

By Michael W. Chapman | February 12, 2014 | 3:56pm EST

The blue and black designer dress as worn by first lady Michelle Obama at the state dinner at the White House, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP)

The blue and black designer dress that first lady Michelle Obama wore to Tuesday’s state dinner for the French president reportedly cost between $10,000 and $12,000, according to news media, which is more than the median annual household income worldwide of $9,733, and greater than the median income for households in at least 87 countries, according to data from Gallup.

Michelle Obama’s dress was made by designer Carolina Herrera.  On CNN Feb. 11, Elle magazine’s creative director, Joe Zee, said that “a dress like that from Mrs. Herrera could potentially run up to almost $10,000.” On the same program, Washington Post writer and Georgetown socialite Sally Quinn said, “I think that dress probably cost around $12,000. But that’s just my guess.”

According to Gallup’s survey of incomes in 131 countries between 2006 and 2012, the median annual household income worldwide is $9,733.   The median per-capita household income is $2,920.

Whether the first lady’s dress cost $10,000 or $12,000, it was more expensive than the median annual global household income.  It was also far more expensive than the per capita household income.

First lady Michelle Obama wearing a blue and black designer dress to the state dinner at the White House, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP) (AP Photo)

From the Gallup data, there are at least 87 countries where the yearly median household income is less than $12,000.  Some of these areas and their corresponding median household income include the following:

Russia,  $11,724

Mexico, $11,680

Romania,  $7,322

Venezula, $11,239

Brazil, $7,522

China, $6,180

South Africa, $5,217

Libya, $6,398

Egypt, $3,111

Kenya, $1,870

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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