Rising and Falling Countries in World GDP Rankings

Nominal exchange rate GDP are impacted by the average currency exchange rate for the year. The US dollar has been exceptionally strong.

If the US dollar stays strong then China may take late into 2030 before it passes and if China has big demographic working age population declines there could be GDP growth challenges.

Japan seems destined to drop into sixth place by 2030 with a weak currency and declining population. They will fall behind India, Germany and the UK.

Brazil could pass Canada by 2030 IF Brazil does not blow up its economy.

Italy is tenth place and has dropped from 7th in a few years. Italy is shrinking and will slip to about 17th by about 2030-2035.

64 thoughts on “Rising and Falling Countries in World GDP Rankings”

  1. If you have B grade infrastructure that needs to be replaced often, your country will have higher GDP. If you have low density cities they will need more infrastructure per capita which will raise GDP. It takes longer to build utilities house to house etc. If your country has very little vacation time your country will have higher GDP possibly. Although productivity goes down. If your citizens are sicker, you will spend more on health expenditures and have a higher gdp. All of these things apply to the United States hence a higher GDP per capita.

    • How does that work? If the entire population has to spend more to compensate for a bunch of structural reasons, they will have less money to spend on single malt scotch, exotic cars and ostrich leather boots or whatever they happen to enjoy.
      You can’t be richer by having more useless expenses.

    • Interesting to see if Crimea, in general, and Sevastopol, in specific, are included within that GDP move?

    • GDP is only a measure of economic activity, not necessarily wealth creation. So digging a hole, filling it with money and corpses and covering it over is technically a boost to GDP. Not one that increases living standards or invests in future growth but a boost, none the less.

      • Ah. But if a country forcibly relocates another’s children, working agers, and captives to re-education centres and near-slave labor in the military factories of the invading country; annexes valuable agriculture and equipment with those workers, and hooks their national grid into an unfortunately-located nuclear facility they stumbled upon, one could argue that the Oligarchs of said invading country could have vastly increased living standards and be well on their way to future personal growth, especially since their worth is a significant portion of overall said invading country.

        Hmm. The 2020s are not proceeding how I imagined them to be upon graduating in the early 2000s.

      • Ha! This is funny and true. It’s nice to realize the limitations of GDP.

        I hope you will allow me to add one small insight. Only if the money you buried (or burned) was earned that year would be counted toward GDP. So the boost to economic activity would have occurred at the point you earned it, as both parties would have benefited from the exchange (in theory)

        In a rational world, anyway.

    • Canada will grow faster and will keep have a larger economy with a population 1/4 of Russia, lol. It will thus have a per capita gdp about 5 times larger, lol.

  2. Possibly more useful to rank under GDP (PPP) per capita. This is more indicative of Standard of Living, takes into account purchasing power, but does not get caught up in the poorer quality products and services which distort the poorer-countries-with-huge-populations’ rank, and tends also to diminish issues with exchange rates:
    (this has been filtered for countries of at least 5M people)
    (ouf. China is below Dominican Republic and Kazhakistan)
    Singapore * 131,426
    Ireland * 131,034
    Switzerland * 84,469
    Norway * 78,128
    United Arab Emirates * 77,272
    United States * 75,180
    Hong Kong * 69,987
    Denmark * 69,845
    Netherlands * 69,715
    Taiwan * 69,500
    Austria * 66,680
    Sweden * 63,877
    Germany * 63,835
    Australia * 62,192
    Belgium * 62,065
    Finland * 58,659
    Canada * 57,827
    France * 56,200
    United Kingdom * 55,862
    Saudi Arabia * 55,802
    South Korea * 53,574
    Israel * 52,173
    Italy * 51,062
    New Zealand * 50,851
    Czech Republic * 48,919
    Japan * 48,813
    Spain * 46,551
    Poland * 42,466
    Hungary * 42,132
    Portugal * 42,067
    Turkey * 38,759
    Slovakia * 38,620
    Romania * 38,097
    Greece * 36,466
    Malaysia * 33,113
    Russia * 31,967
    Kazakhstan * 30,827
    Bulgaria * 29,178
    Chile * 28,887
    Argentina * 26,074
    Dominican Republic * 24,120
    Serbia * 24,084
    Mexico * 22,440
    Belarus * 21,709
    China * 21,291
    World Average 20,886

    India * 8,293

      • Well, I think the point is the shift in power. Higher GDP means more power, irrespective of how many people share the money. In reality, China’s advantage is even greater than what is shown by the raw GDP number. The purchase power of China is 4.2 times higher per dollar compared to the USA [1], meaning, they can buy and manufacture more equipment internally than what can inferred from GDP. More tanks, more aircraft carriers, more dumping of sand islands in the south Chinese sea. You get the drift.

        (1) https://knoema.com/atlas/China/topics/Economy/Inflation-and-Prices/Purchasing-power-parity

        • Nice reference link.
          And, I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying except that, IMO, China is not a typical authoritarian politcal construct (large-scale) like Russia. As US is not a typical democratic-capitalism construct (like European west countries). China has a lot more buy-in to its policies from its citizens, middle managers, and industries, despite its ongoing oppressions, as compared to Russia. They seem, for some reason, to reasonably-embrace the goals and aspirations of the leadership/politics; so consequently are more productive, if not creative or innovative (compared to western-style economies). The result is that you only get 2nd class tanks, carriers, and China Sea island sand – but yes, it gets planned, it gets built, it gets big. Russia, on the other hand, as a typical authoritarian, is the worst of all worlds – inefficient, disorganized, and culturally-splintered – so you get 3rd class tanks, missiles, and equipment, since, as the People say: “…we pretend to Work, and they pretend to Pay us…” My point is that the semi-high-tech industries such as space programs, monster dam infrastructure, etc., in China is likely significantly cultural, as well as GDP Size Matters.

    • It sorts out somewhat differently if you look at median income; Ireland drops a lot, for instance. (They end up high on your chart because they’re a tax haven, a lot of wealthy people officially live there for tax purposes.)

      The US comes up near, but not at the top, however you sort things. And we’re the only large country you can say that of. Switzerland does better than us on a lot of metrics, but not disposable income, where we’re easily at the top of the list, due to our lower tax rates; A lot of the nominally wealthy countries don’t look so great once you look at how much of their incomes people actually get to keep.

      China, of course, looks bad on every metric available. They’re just a really BIG poor country.


    • Bizarre. What does bulk GDP comparisons have to do with anything when population differences are so pronounced? Like: My 4x peasants will produce more than your 1x office worker in terms of the market value of all final goods and services within my nation in a given future year (soon, theoretically).

      And what’s with Ireland’s rank in GDP PPP /cap? Nice cities and infrastructure, but over 2x the UK?
      Surprised at how low Japan is ranked; always considered that a workaholic country.
      Surprised at how high the world average is considering that the countries above it’s rank only account for 30% of the population.
      Ukraine is way, way down there with Mongolia and Vietnam (read: typical: why is Russia failing so badly, comment).

      • I think it’s a ‘… my country is more modern than your country; look at all the science and technology and infrastructure accomplishments…’
        A lot of more interesting metrics to assess that:
        – international (PCT) patent applications filed per year
        – most cars per capita *excluding 2-, 3- wheelers*
        – most educated countries (tertiary attainment)
        – average residential floor area per capita (related: house size per capita)
        – smart phone penetration rate
        – internet access/ usage per capita
        – work productivity value per capita

        • Or. It’s a: “…my country is advancing faster than your country; look at the rate of change. Your country has stagnated…”
          Which is nonsensical.
          Countries have varying levels of development status and potential. Some structural.
          Rostow has rather ‘controversial’ definitions:
          1. The traditional society
          2. The preconditions for take-off
          3. The take-off
          4. The drive to maturity
          5. The age of high mass-consumption
          Seems to be more of a ‘backwardness’ model. Unfortunate.

        • Those are good metrics now?

          *”– international (PCT) patent applications filed per year*

          *– most cars per capita *excluding 2-, 3- wheelers**
          lol, why?

          *– most educated countries (tertiary attainment)*
          THIS is important, however, there is the question of brain drain… and as a % of population, it doesn´t change much, in terms of power, mostly on terms of quality of life of the average citizen.

          *– average residential floor area per capita (related: house size per capita)*
          Worst indicator ever. The American style suburb is one of the worst things in the world for the environment, for society, etc.

          *– smart phone penetration rate*

          *– internet access/ usage per capita*

          *– work productivity value per capita”*

          But again, per capita numbers don´t tell he whole story either. A poor country of millions with money to to space exploration, may end up getting an asteroid or other opportunities that the rich country of 1 million won´t.

          Not even counting here questions of military…

      • Bulk GDP matters a lot when negotiating trade agreements, building a military or when an achievement or process comes a single national source; e.g. the NIH or NASA. Switzerland is very rich, but they can’t produce a competitive space agency. The average person in China may be poorer than the average person in Botswana, Thailand or Mexico, but their size means they have a decent space program.

        • That’s always been the one advantage of totalitarian states: They can concentrate irrational fractions of their economy on one thing, and excel, because the people calling the shots don’t care if most of the population suffer as a result.

          At least they can do it until they run their economy into the ground, as the former USSR seems to be doing.

    • It sorts out somewhat differently if you look at median income; Ireland drops a lot, for instance. (They end up high on your chart because they’re a tax haven, a lot of wealthy people officially live there for tax purposes.)

      The US comes up near, but not at the top, however you sort things. And we’re the only large country you can say that of. Switzerland does better than us on a lot of metrics, but not disposable income, where we’re easily at the top of the list, due to our lower tax rates; A lot of the nominally wealthy countries don’t look so great once you look at how little of their incomes people actually get to keep.

      China, of course, looks bad on every metric available. They’re just a really BIG poor country.

      • To me, it seems that resilience and continued growth over time are some of the best measures. We have been quite remarkable at having so many years of 4.0% GDP growth (real, though?), as a developed nation, in the latter half of last century on top of most years being near or at 2+%, this century. The EU is typically a full percentage, as an average, less with more extreme negatives at recessions and less positive spikes at recoveries. China, ridiculously, posts numbers in the double-digits consistently; but where else could ‘low productivity’ go? Many would argue that our ‘island’ status, as being uninvadable, contributes significantly to our continued ‘Pollyannaish’ and therefore productive/ creative disposition. But certainly the huge efforts of importing and and exporting must be some drag on an economy, perhaps all the more reason to re-shore many of our industries and limit spread of intellectual property, post-globalization.

        • We switched to the high regulation/low growth economic model later than Europe did. Add to that being large enough to capture all available economies of scale, and we did a lot better than Europe for a long while.

          I kind of expect those days are over, given that our federal government has gone from spending about 20% of the economy for half a century after WWII, to spending about 30%.

      • USA does not really have more disposable income once you deduct health insurance.

        If you want nice things, you have to pay for it, pretty much all of Europe uses 40-50 % of gdp on police, army, roads, sewage, education, healthcare, welfare, pensions and elder care.

        The US does too, it’s just paid privately, meaning some people can’t afford it, or pay extra because they take out loans, (student debt) or have a middleman (health care)

        • “USA does not really have more disposable income once you deduct health insurance.”

          Disposable household and per capita income

          “The list below represents a national accounts derived indicator for a country or territory’s gross household disposable income per capita (including social transfers in kind). According to the OECD, ‘household disposable income is income available to households such as wages and salaries, income from self-employment and unincorporated enterprises, income from pensions and other social benefits, and income from financial investments (less any payments of tax, social insurance contributions and interest on financial liabilities). ‘Gross’ means that depreciation costs are not subtracted.’ This indicator also takes account of social transfers in kind ‘such as health or education provided for free or at reduced prices by governments and not-for-profit organizations.’ The data shown below is published by the OECD and is presented in purchasing power parity (PPP) in order to adjust for price differences between countries.”

          So, no, actually it does take that into account.

  3. I’m not convinced China will ever surpass the united states. Would be interesting to see more up to date stats. The world has changed a lot in the last 2 years. I’ve also seen several videos on YouTube on economics in general, that cite research that China has been wildly overstating their past GDP (lying is systemic in authoritarian countries).

    • I was going to say that: If the above chart is based on China’s official economic statistics being accurate, it’s a joke.

    • and I saw a lot sources claiming that China is Understating its real size to hide its strenght and not alert/freak out West( because of that sanctions from the West came later). Even Brian was writing about that(link below). Seeing China cities, how much stuff is being produced, electricity generationa and consumption, import/export data, tech and science output of China, I believe that.


      • Yes, purchasing power parity wise, China’s citizens have far more ability to buy things. So the exchange rate could go up and China economy could still be good. However, exchange rate GDP is a separate and more complicated thing. A nations ability to buy imports like buying oil etc… Soviet Union collapse was not able to pay cash to UK for grain. Having hidden purchasing power parity economic strength now or ten years ago is irrelevent to a collapse taking out economic strength. This collapse being the population aging out and losing productivity. One child policy means accelerated age out and drop in productivity of older workers. ten years ago everyone productive with an average age of 34, now things are at 38.7 but is going to 47 by 2040 and then 55 by 2070. Working age population shrinking 1% per year. So they were stronger than they claimed but the fall could be harder and sharper. The declining countries Japan, China, Italy are the older population countries with shrinking populations. More old people and really old people dying. I can be very strong when I am 38 but I am less productive 55 and I am retired or very unproductive 65-70 and maybe I am dead 75-90. And I am close to useless 5-10 years before dying. Antiaging and aging reversal could forestall this but as of now and for the next 20 years there is no tech miracle to prevent this decline in overall productivity.


        • And we’re on the same trajectory, we’re just a few decades behind on the curve.

          The nation that will dominate the 22nd century is the one that finds a way to convince their population to actually sustainably reproduce. Or perhaps backfills with artificial wombs, but the state seems horrible at actually raising children, and as those couple decades of effort are more of a deterrent than 9 months of labor.

          • Developed Countries that accommodate and draw immigrants will do well both directly and from higher second generation birth rates. There will be plenty of talented potential immigrants for the foreseeable future – there is no global issue. China, Japan, Russia, etc have shown little capacity to do this. The US has politically self inflicted problems with it that can be corrected.

            • Remember, ALL the developed nations suffer from a birth dearth. All of them. So immigrants from other developed nations will start out already predisposed to not reproduce.

              You can import people from third world countries that are still above replacement, but there are fewer and fewer of those all the time, and a strategy for the 1st world that actually requires the third world to remain poor seems kind of despicable. As well, immigrants from their world countries tend to import the values responsible for them BEING third world countries… As well as rapidly adopting anti-natalist attitudes, as they’ll be as subject as anyone to the incentives discouraging reproduction.

              No, there is actually no getting around finding a way to convince your own population to reproduce. Not that’s remotely sustainable. We need to identify and fix the common mistake ALL developed countries are making.

              • Yeah, immigration doesn’t solve shrinking populations long term, but it can kick the can down the road for a generation or two.
                And given how much the world, and culture, can change in 2 generations, going for the can-kicking approach looks just fine to me.
                Remember, 2 generations ago we were still thinking that populations would grow too MUCH.
                Saying that immigration isn’t worth it because it won’t last past 2100, is like someone in the 19th century saying that industrialization could not last because there wasn’t enough whales to provide high quality lubricant oil.

                • I tend to think kicking the can down the road is close to the worst thing we could do.

                  At present we still have a lot of people around whose values formed pre birth dearth. A lot of institutions running on momentum that facilitate reproduction, based on those values. Society habitually accommodates those who chose to reproduce.

                  Imagine a generation from now, when everybody in power formed their attitudes in an era where having children wasn’t the default life plan. Where people who have children aren’t just the minority, but have been for decades. Imagine the political consequences of that.

                  Those accommodations may just fall by the wayside, and the culture could turn even more anti-natalist. People who have large families, (Meaning, more than one child.) could end up viewed as freeloaders imposing on everybody else.

                  Sure, the government might realize on an intellectual level that this was a huge problem. But it wouldn’t be an acute huge problem, so kicking the can further down the road could be easy.

                  We could easily see population collapse on a scale that makes it almost impossible to maintain our current advanced civilization. Because the demographic shift that happens during that sort of population collapse increases the cost of just maintaining society, due to how many old people needing support are around.

                  Many civilizations have collapsed in the past, ours could meet the same fate. In fact, I think a tendency to kick the can down the road instead of stepping up and solving problems is a major indicator of a civilization in decline.

          • Concept on nation will disappear before 2050(maybe even 2030, soon after AGI/ASI/Singularity), it’s a concept of primitive civilizations, we’ll soon left this short tribal phase behind us.

      • When evaluating sources, you must see if the reasons given pass the sniff test. Not sure why they’d be afraid of others knowing how rich they are. Also, although I felt bad citing a YouTube episode, it is a bit better than citing the site you are on. Especially this one.

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