GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the value of products and services produced within a sovereign state over a given period of time. In today’s article we are going to analyze this parameter over the last 50 years, from 1970 to 2019. The figure taken into consideration will not be the total GDP per year, but the GDP per person (Constants 2010 US$).
Top 15 Countries by GDP per Capita – 1970/2019
Let’s start by answering a first question. What are the top 15 nations in the world with the highest GDP per person in 2019?
The top nation in the world in 2019 by GDP per Capita is Luxembourg. This European country, with a population of about 600 thousand, has a GDP per Capita of about $111 thousand. In second place we find, distanced by almost 20 thousand dollars, Norway with a value of 92 thousand and 556 dollars. At a distance of about 13,000 dollars from the third and fourth place are Ireland with 79,800 dollars and Switzerland with 79,400 dollars. In sixth place we find the first Asian country: Qatar. Singapore follows. Among the first 15 nations in the world, the nation with the largest population and the highest GDP per person is the United States. In fact, in the U.S., the 2019 value is $55,753 per person.
In general, among the top 15 states, 9 are part of Europe. 2 from America, namely the United States and Canada, 3 from Asia, Qatar, Singapore and Macao and 1 from Oceania, Australia. But how has this ranking evolved over the years? What were the top 15 nations in the world in 1970?
Top 15 Countries by GDP per Capita – 1970
In 1970 the first nation in the world for GDP per person was Switzerland. In fact, the Swiss state had a value of almost 50 thousand dollars and was more than 14 thousand euros behind the second country, Luxembourg. It should be borne in mind that the figure is calculated in constant 2010 prices in dollars. A large part of the states that we find in the first positions in 2019 are the same as in 1970. In fact, in third position we find Norway and in fourth position Denmark (which is fifth in 2019). The top 5 nations in the world are all from Europe while in sixth position we find Australia, and in sixth position Canada. In general, the Top 15 Countries by GDP per Capita in 1970 saw 10 European states, including Germany and France, 2 American states (United States and Canada), 2 Oceania (New Zealand and Australia) and 1 from Asia (Saudi Arabia).
In the table above you can see the GDP per person data every 10 years. The data refers to all states in the World Bank database. You can sort the table by lowest and highest value by year. In 2019, the 5 nations with the lowest GDP per person are Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo (Democratic Republic), Sierra Leone, and Madagascar. These 5 nations have a GDP per capita per year from $500 and below. And for some of these nations the value, from 1970 to 2019, has even gone down. This is the case for Congo where the 1970 value was $1066.77 per person per year and in 2019 it is $423.64.
Below you can also see the 2019 map by state (world bank source).
GDP per Capita (World) 1960 – 2019 – Constant 2010 US$
Globally, however, what is the trend in GDP per Capita (per person – constant 2010 US$?)? How has the figure changed from 1960 to 2019?
In general, in 2019 the figure has grown touching a world average of about 11 thousand dollars per year. The figure is definitely up from 1960 where it was about $3747. Every year there has been a growth of this parameter except in some periods. Among these, it is certainly important to mention 2009, when the average per capita GDP in the world fell by 300 dollars due to the financial crisis.
GDP per Capita in Englnad – 1270/2016
To conclude the analysis on GDP, I looked at GDP per capita data for England. This data is very interesting because it analyzes trends from 1270 to 2016, over a decidedly very very long time frame.
The large impact on PIl per person, and on GDP in general, is due in large part to the industrial revolutions. The largest growth there was was in the 1930s, interrupted by World War II, and in the following years from the 1950s onwards. A growth that has seen only a few years of difficulty, such as the aforementioned 2009, due to the financial crisis. It will certainly be interesting to know in the coming years what will be the impact of the fourth industrial revolution, linked to digital.
Sources and data
I used several sources to make this article and video. For data from 1960 to 2019 on GDP per capita I used the world bank database.
For data on GDP in England: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/research-datasets.
To see the video: Top 15 Countries by GDP per Capita – 1970/2019: https://youtu.be/kWoXLjIKSVM
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