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Bermuda residents were the world's most prosperous in 1986 with an average income of $20,420 a year, the World Bank reports.

The Swiss came next with an average of $17,840. Americans were third with $17,500.The U.S. rank was due at least in part to the drop in the value of the dollar, compared with the Swiss franc and other major currencies, a descent that began in 1985.

The rankings are contained in an updated atlas released in conjunction with last week's semiannual meetings of the bank and its sister organization, the International Monetary Fund.

The average income figure for Japan was $12,850, for West Germany $12,080, for France $10,740 and Britain $8,920. The incomes do not necessarily represent living standards, because prices and lifestyles differ so much from country to country.