THE WORLD'S LARGEST ECONOMIES

The economy of a country is usually defined by its gross domestic product (GDP). This is the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country over a certain period, usually a year. Regular calculations of GDP in different countries help to rank the largest economies in the world.

As of 2021, the United States and China have the largest economies on the planet, well ahead of other countries in both nominal GDP and GDP as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).

Interestingly, in terms of nominal GDP, the U.S. outpaces China by $7.05 trillion, but on a PPP basis, China leads by nearly the same margin of $7.15 trillion. Overall, China's GDP growth rate is more than twice that of the U.S.

In addition to the U.S. and China, the top five largest economies in the world include such countries as Japan, Germany and India. Despite the powerful financial crises and other upheavals that regularly occur in the world, the list of top 20 economies has remained virtually unchanged over the past 40 years.

Important. The nominal GDP of the top 10 countries accounts for about 70% of the world economy, while the 20 strongest economies give nearly 80%.

WORLD ECONOMIES RANKING 2021

COUNTRY NOMINAL GDP (MILLIONS OF DOLLARS)
1. U.S. 21,427,700
2. China 14,342,903
3. Japan 5,081,770
4. Germany 3,845,630
5. India 2,875,142
6. Great Britain 2,827,113
7. France 2,715,518
8. Italy 2,001,244
9. Brazil 1,839,758
10. Canada 1,736,426
11. Russia 1,699,877
12. Republic of Korea 1,642,383
13. Spain 1,394,116
14. Australia 1,392,681
15. Mexico 1,258,287
16. Indonesia 1,119,191
17. Netherlands 909,070
18. Saudi Arabia 792,967
19. Turkey 754,412
20. Switzerland 703,082

Note. Country information on nominal GDP is based on current World Bank data for 2019.

TOP 5 ECONOMIES OF THE WORLD

U.S.

GDP (nominal) – $21,427,700 million

USA

The U.S. has the most technologically advanced economy in the world, accounting for 20% of global output. The service sector is very developed. U.S. corporations are at the forefront of global innovation, especially in computers, pharmaceuticals, retail, finance, medical, aerospace and military equipment.

CHINA

GDP (nominal) – $14,342,903 million

China

China has seen remarkable economic growth over the past few decades. Since the late 1970s, the country has abandoned a closed system with centralized planning and moved to a more open, market-oriented system. This fact has helped the country achieve the much coveted second place in the list of the world's largest economies, and first place in terms of GDP at PPP.

JAPAN

GDP (nominal) – $5,081,770 million

Japan

With a nominal GDP of just over $5 trillion, Japan's economy ranks third in the world. This is largely made possible by mutually beneficial cooperation between the government and private industrial companies, a strong work ethic, high technology and relatively low defense spending (just under 1% of GDP).

GERMANY

GDP (nominal) – $3,845,630 million

Germany

Germany has the largest economy in Europe and is the fourth largest in the world. The country has a very skilled labor force and a high standard of living. Germany is the leading exporter of machinery and vehicles, chemicals and home appliances. The country has shown steady economic growth over the past decade.

INDIA

GDP (nominal) – $2,875,142 million

 India

In recent years, the Indian economy has become the fastest-growing among the world's leading economies, in many respects even surpassing China. This has allowed India to overtake such economically powerful European nations as Great Britain and France. India's diverse economy encompasses not only traditional agriculture, but also a wide range of modern industries and services.

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