Gross domestic product

Gross domestic product per capita, 2019 (United States dollars)

Trends in global economy

Global real GDP growth slipped to 2.5 per cent in 2019, the lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. A substantial drop of the GDP growth rate, to -4.3 per cent, is nowcast for 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

World real GDP per capita increased by 1.4 per cent in 2019. Large differences in GDP per capita persist throughout the world. In 2019, most developed economies produced an output per person greater than US$30 000, with economies in Eastern Europe as the main exception. By contrast, almost half of the developing economies in Africa – all of them least developed countries (LDCs) – recorded a per capita output of less than US$1 000. Most developing economies in America, Asia and in Oceania reached an output higher than US$3 000 per person.

Figure 1World real gross domestic product, annual growth rate (Percentage)

Note: In constant 2015 United States dollars. The shaded area indicates UNCTAD nowcasts for the year 2020 (UNCTAD, 2020b).

Regional trends

Annual growth decelerated in all regions of the world in 2019. It slowed considerably in developing Asia and Oceania, though, at 4.5 per cent, it remained higher than in other world regions. GDP in Africa grew by 2.9 per cent; in developing America it even slightly decreased (-0.4 per cent). The GDP growth rate of transition and developed economies declined to 2.2 and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

GDP in LDCs grew at a higher rate than the world average in 2019, as in 2018, but at 4.7 per cent their growth rate remained below the 7 per cent target set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. GDP per capita increased by 2.3 per cent in LDCs.

Figure 2Growth of real gross domestic product by group of economies, 2019 (Percentage)

Note: In constant 2015 United States dollars.

Global economic inequality

Over the last 10 years, the global distribution of nominal GDP per capita across economies has become more equal. For example, in 2009 the poorest economies, accounting for 80 per cent of the world’s population, contributed 24.6 per cent to world GDP. By 2019, their share in GDP rose to 33.9 per cent. The highest GDP per capita, in nominal terms, was recorded for Luxembourg (US$113 642), Bermuda (US$104 951), Macao SAR (US$89 284), the Cayman Islands (US$89 245), and the economy of Switzerland and Liechtenstein (US$82 243).

Figure 3Distribution of world gross domestic product (Percentage)

Note: Lorenz curves, as in this graph, reveal the structure of inequality. Inequality is greater the further the curve runs below the diagonal line (see on the Calculation methods page). Inequality within economies is not considered.

Summary tables

Table 1

Gross domestic product and gross domestic product per capita

Group of economies

Value

Annual growth rate

Nominal GDP

Nominal GDP
per capita

Real GDPa

Real GDPa per capita

(Billions of US$)

(US$)

(Percentage)

(Percentage)

2019

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

World

87 692

11 371

3.1

2.5

2.0

1.4

Developing economies

35 428

5 591

4.3

3.6

3.0

2.3

Developing economies: Africa

2 542

1 946

3.2

2.9

0.6

0.4

Developing economies: America

5 547

8 615

0.6

-0.4

-0.4

-1.4

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

27 339

6 233

5.3

4.5

4.3

3.6

Transition economies

2 416

7 763

2.8

2.2

2.4

1.9

Developed economies

49 847

46 841

2.3

1.8

1.9

1.5

Selected groups

Developing economies excluding China

21 200

4 324

2.9

1.9

1.3

0.4

Developing economies excluding LDCs

34 304

6 468

4.3

3.5

3.2

2.5

LDCs

1 124

1 088

4.5

4.7

2.1

2.3

LLDCs

900

1 728

4.7

4.5

2.2

2.1

SIDS (UNCTAD)

103

7 985

2.1

1.7

1.0

0.6

HIPCs (IMF)

723

977

5.2

5.0

2.3

2.1

BRICS

21 154

6 578

5.7

5.1

4.9

4.3

G20

75 289

15 479

3.2

2.6

2.5

2.0

a
In constant 2015 United States dollars.
Find the data on UNCTADstat
Table 2

Nominal gross domestic product by type of expenditure, 2018

(Percentage)

Group of economies

Final consumption

Gross capital formation

Net exports

of goods

and services

Householdsa

Governmentb

World

56.5

16.2

26.1

0.7

Developing economies

50.9

14.4

32.9

0.9

Developing economies: Africa

67.8

13.3

22.7

-4.2

Developing economies: America

66.8

15.9

19.1

-1.2

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

46.0

14.1

36.7

1.9

Transition economies

52.0

16.4

23.4

7.1

Developed economies

60.6

17.5

21.6

0.2

Selected groups

Developing economies excluding China

59.0

14.1

25.4

1.1

Developing economies excluding LDCs

50.3

14.5

33.0

1.2

LDCs

68.1

10.5

28.9

-8.6

LLDCs

59.7

12.3

28.4

-2.9

SIDS (UNCTAD)

69.1

15.6

19.8

-6.1

HIPCs (IMF)

68.6

12.1

26.6

-9.1

BRICS

45.1

15.0

37.4

0.8

G20

56.1

16.6

26.4

0.4

a
Including non-profit institutions serving households.
b
General government.
Find the data on UNCTADstat
Table 3

Nominal gross value added by economic activity

(Percentage)

Group of economies

Agriculture

Industry

Services

2008

2018

2008

2018

2008

2018

World

3.7

4.1

29.9

28.4

66.4

67.5

Developing economies

8.9

8.1

39.9

36.2

51.1

55.7

Developing economies: Africa

15.4

16.1

37.5

30.8

47.1

53.1

Developing economies: America

5.4

5.4

33.3

27.7

61.4

66.9

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

9.2

8.0

42.6

38.3

48.2

53.8

Transition economies

6.0

5.4

36.8

35.7

57.3

58.8

Developed economies

1.4

1.3

25.2

22.7

73.4

76.0

Selected groups

Developing economies excluding China

8.4

8.6

37.4

32.9

54.2

58.5

Developing economies excluding LDCs

8.5

7.7

40.2

36.4

51.3

55.9

LDCs

23.7

20.8

32.2

29.8

44.2

49.4

LLDCs

17.1

16.0

37.1

33.5

45.8

50.5

SIDS (UNCTAD)

4.0

5.1

35.8

25.5

60.2

69.4

HIPCs (IMF)

25.1

23.3

27.8

29.0

47.1

47.7

BRICS

9.5

8.0

39.9

37.2

50.7

54.8

G20

3.1

3.5

28.6

27.8

68.3

68.8

Table 4

Economies with highest gross domestic product per capita

Economy

Nominal value

Real annual growth ratea

Structure by type of expenditure

Final consumption

Gross

capital

formation

Net exports

of goods

and services

Householdb

Governmentc

(US$)

(Percentage)

(Percentage)

(Percentage)

(Percentage)

(Percentage)

2018

2019

2019

2018

2018

2018

2018

Luxembourg

117 370

113 642

0.4

29.8

16.7

17.6

36.0

Bermuda

101 197

104 951

1.9

51.3

16.0

14.6

18.1

China, Macao SAR

86 356

89 284

0.6

24.1

9.7

15.8

50.5

Cayman Islands

85 477

89 245

1.4

63.4

14.6

22.4

0.7

Switzerland, Liechtenstein

83 136

82 243

0.2

53.3

11.8

22.7

12.2

Ireland

79 415

79 151

4.2

31.0

11.9

23.8

33.1

Norway

81 336

77 089

0.4

43.4

23.4

27.3

5.8

Iceland

76 868

70 785

1.2

50.7

23.6

22.6

3.1

Qatar

68 794

66 985

-2.0

22.1

15.9

42.9

19.2

United States of America

62 625

64 876

1.7

68.0

14.1

20.9

-3.0

Note: Economies are ranked by the nominal value in 2019.

a
In constant 2015 United States dollars.
b
Including non-profit institutions serving households.
c
General government.
Find the data on UNCTADstat