Top Countries by Value of Exported Goods as share of GDP – 1827/2014

A few weeks ago we saw the figures for the world’s top exporting nations (in dollars). The article can be seen at this link: https://statisticsanddata.org/data/top-15-countries-by-total-exports-1970-2019/. In today’s article we will take a closer look at Top Countries by Value of Exported Goods as share of GDP – 1827/2014.

To calculate country exports (imports) to (from) the rest of the world, the total value of exports (imports) by country, per year, is divided by the country’s GDP. Calculations use Fouquin and Hugot (CEPII 2016) national trade data.

The total export (import) values of regional income aggregates have been calculated using the World Bank’s income groupings. These time series begin in 1970, where the number of countries are more representative. Similarly, total export (import) values by continental grouping begin in 1960.

Germany’s time series is comprised of West Germany, and Germany. East Germany has been excluded for the purposes of Germany’s calculations. Russia’s time series comprises Russia and the USSR.

Top Countries by Value of Exported Goods as share of GDP 1827

Let’s look at the historical data first. Which nations in the world, for which we have data, had the highest value of exported goods as a share of GDP in 1827? With a value of 12.56% we find Norway. In 1827, in fact, the Nordic nation had the highest number, in percentage terms, of this particular parameter. Data from the early 1800s are obviously partial, but they are useful to understand how the data has evolved over time. In second place we find the United Kingdom, with 9.58% and in third and fourth place Denmark and Sweden. In fifth place is the United States with a value of 8.73% in 1827. Also in the top positions is “Zollverein” with 7.17%. The Zollverein (German for “Customs Union”), or German Customs Union, was a customs union implemented in 1834, during the Industrial Revolution, to create a better flow of trade between 38 states of the German Confederation and to reduce internal competition. The Zollverein excluded Austria because of the high protectionism of its industries; this later increased Austro-Prussian conflict.

And in 2014, what is the situation? In this case the data of individual nations, territories and states are definitely more available than in the past. In fact, in first position we find Aruba which, in 2014, has a percentage of 165.64% of GDP. Aruba is followed by Hong Kong and Singapore with 162.75% and 133.76% respectively. In fourth place we find Bahrain with a value above 100%, 109.52%, followed by United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. The first European country is Belgium with a figure of 86.17%. In addition to Belgium, in the first 15 positions worldwide we also find the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Netherlands with a value of 74.74%.

Map of Top Countries by Value of Exported Goods as share of GDP

In addition to the absolute data it is possible, thanks to the usual splendid work of Our World in Data (a site I recommend you follow) to see the map from 1827 to 2014.

Export in the world in the last 50 years

To see how the export of goods and services has grown worldwide, it is useful to see this graph. Especially since the 1990s, growth has been very strong. Except for a few special moments such as the financial crisis of 2008 and the European crisis of 2013 the trend was almost always positive. In 2019, however, it was slightly down. In 2020 it will be interesting to see, once published, the data that will probably be down sharply due to the Pandemic.

Source and links
I used World Bank sources to create this article: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.EXP.GNFS.CD and https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/merchandise-exports-gdp-cepii?tab=table

Exports of goods and services represent the value of all goods and other market services provided to the rest of the world. They include the value of merchandise, freight, insurance, transport, travel, royalties, license fees, and other services, such as communication, construction, financial, information, business, personal, and government services. They exclude compensation of employees and investment income (formerly called factor services) and transfer payments.

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