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Global municipal solid waste generation per person by income group 2016-2050

Globally, those with a higher income typically generate more municipal solid waste (MSW) than those with a lower income. In 2016, those with a high income generated approximately 1.58 kilograms of waste per capita. This was almost four times more waste generated by those with a low income. By 2050, it is projected that waste generation per capita for all income groups will have increased. Estimates show that by the middle of the century, the global generation of municipal solid waste will amount to a 3.4 billion metric tons. This would be a 70 percent increase from 2016.

Biggest waste producers

  The United States is the biggest producer of MSW worldwide per capita, generating 2.6 kilograms a day. However, when all waste types such as industrial, hazardous and agricultural waste are accounted for, Canada is the biggest producer of waste worldwide.


Electronic waste, commonly known as e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream worldwide. With technology continuously progressing, many products are thrown out to be replaced with newer models. As of 2019, global e-waste generation amounted to 54 million metric tons.

Projected per capita generation of municipal solid waste worldwide in 2016 and 2050, by income group

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Release date

September 2018



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Projection.

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Statistics on "Global waste generation"

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