Here's we've ranked the top countries by GDP based on world economic data, including imports and exports.
Don't miss our Frequently Asked Questions for more detailed information about GDP and how it's calculated.
Source: World Bank. Updated with 2019 GDP numbers as current US dollars.
More Economic Profiles
In addition to the top GDPs listed above, we also provide economic profiles for these countries:
- Bulgaria's Economic Profile
- Cyprus's Economic Profile
- Czechia's Economic Profile
- Estonia's Economic Profile
- Greece's Economic Profile
- Hungary's Economic Profile
- Iceland's Economic Profile
- Latvia's Economic Profile
- Lithuania's Economic Profile
- Luxembourg's Economic Profile
- Malta's Economic Profile
- New Zealand's Economic Profile
- Portugal's Economic Profile
- Slovakia's Economic Profile
- Slovenia's Economic Profile
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a complex measurement that attempts to quantify a country's economic status. Here we've compiled some common questions about this interesting metric.
How is GDP calculated?
According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP is defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced within a country quarterly or annually. GDP is calculated by adding together the following measurements:
|Measures||Definition / Examples|
|Consumer spending +||Goods and services people buy – eg, cars, groceries, health care, tax preparation services|
|Investment +||Business spending on fixed assets (buildings, equipment) + investment in unsold inventory + consumer home purchases|
|Government spending +||Spending by federal, state, and local governments – eg, schools, roads, national defense|
|Net exports||Exports minus imports|
What is GDP per capita?
GDP per capita is a way to express a country's Gross Domestic Product in terms of its population size. It gives economists an idea of how prosperous a country's residents are. “Per capita” means “per person.” The formula for GDP per capita = GDP ÷ Population.
Example: US GDP ($18,569,100,000,000) ÷ US Population (331,002,651) = $56,100 GDP per capita.
What is nominal GDP?
Nominal GDP, also called current-price GDP, is a snapshot of a country's Gross Domestic Product at a point in time. Nominal GDP doesn't take into account inflation so it can't be used to compare GDP from different time periods.
Nominal GDP includes services but only includes goods produced in the final form. For example, a computer is counted in GDP but the microchips inside it aren't counted as separate items. Nominal GDP also excludes sales.
What is GDP PPP?
GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product and PPP stands for Purchasing Power Parity. GDP is the “value of goods and services produced” by a country. It can be used to determine some aspects of a country's economic health.
PPP takes into account the value of a country's currency so its GDP can be compared to other countries. The formula for PPP = Cost1 ÷ Cost2 where Cost1 is the cost of goods in Country 1 and Cost2 is the cost of the same goods in Country 2.
What is a GDP price deflator?
A GDP price deflator, also called an implicit price deflator, measures inflation affecting the price of goods and services produced by a country for a particular year. It allows the GDP for a particular country to be compared across years using any starting point.
The formula for calculating the value of the GDP deflator is nominal GDP ÷ real GDP x 100.
What are imports and exports?
Imports are goods or services brought into a country from abroad for sale. Exports are sales of goods and services to another country. Here are the biggest commodity imports and exports in the US, China, Japan, Germany, and India:
|Top Commodities Exports||Top Commodities Imports|
|Refined Petroleum ($137.3B)||Crude Petroleum ($553.7B)|
|Crude Petroleum ($45.5B)||Petroleum Gas ($80.4B)|
|Diamonds ($26.3B)||Iron Ore ($59.2B)|
|Rice ($7.47B)||Coal Briquettes ($49.1B)|
|Refined Petroleum ($24.4B)|
What is meant by the “global economy?”
The global economy is an attempt to measure the GDPs of all countries aggregated together. However, the number is hard to accurately quantify. By necessity, only one currency can be used and all other GDPs must be converted into that currency, despite the fact that exchange rates are volatile and inconsistent across borders.
Inflation must also be accounted for to compare global economy measures over time but inflation varies by country.
Some impacts to the global economy cannot be measured at all – eg, illegal markets and goods are typically not included despite the significant impact these activities have on people's lives.
How do exchange rates affect imports and exports?
Exchange rates do impact imports and exports, but the effect is complex. Using the US dollar as an example, if the dollar increases in value relative to other currencies, US exports will be more expensive for consumers in other countries.
Thus, fewer US goods may be sold overseas, lowering profits for US sellers. At the same time, US consumers will have more purchasing power to buy imported foreign goods which will appear cheaper than their competitors in the USA.
On the flip side, if the dollar loses value, then commodities and other raw materials imported from other countries will go up in price. That means products made in the USA from these materials will be more expensive.
How do tariffs affect import and exports?
Tariffs have three main effects on the prices of imports and exports which correspond to timeframes around the execution of the tariff:
- Stockpiling – [Prior to tariff going into effect] – Prior to an impending tariff, importers will stock up on the affected goods to avoid coming price increases or supply shortfalls, pushing the price of goods up before the tariff goes into effect.
- Substitution – [Tariff goes into effect] – Exporters may lower prices to compensate for the tariff, buyers may buy cheaper goods, importers may replace the tariffed item for a cheaper substitute, or the importer will pay higher prices.
- Pass-through – [After price adjustments to the tariff] – Importers will tend to match prices with non-tariffed products to avoid losing business altogether to cheaper competitors. However, tariffs on imported commodities make increased downstream product prices likely.
Which country has the highest GDP?
Current rankings are listed at the top of our page. Below are the top 5 annual GDPs since 1980, calculated as 2015 US dollars.
|*Federal Republic of Germany|
Sources & Further Reading
- US Bureau of Economic Analysis
- International Monetary Fund
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
- How Exchange Rates Affect Imports and Exports
- How Tariffs Relate to BLS Import and Export Price Indexes
Please note: while we try to be accurate, official figures (provided by governments, banks and other official sources) are often 2 or more years behind.
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