That China stands poised to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy in 2014 has become the talk of the town in the global-economy arena this week. Yet there is much more to say about the relative state of the world’s economies. The draft report by the International Comparison Program (ICP), coordinated by the World Bank, offers numerous other insights into the global economic situation (the ICP 2011 Final Report will be released by the end of July 2014).
Here are a few of the findings that will be included in the mentioned publication as stated by the multilateral organization:
- Six of the world’s twelve largest economies were in the middle income category (based on the World Bank’s definition). When combined, the twelve largest economies account for two-thirds of the world economy, and 59% of the world population.
- The Purchasing Power Parities (PPP)-based world GDP amounted to $90,647 billion, compared to $70,294 billion measured by exchange rates.
- Middle income economies’ share of global GDP is 48% when using PPPs and 32% when using exchange rates.
- Low income economies, as a share of world GDP were more than two times larger based on PPPs than respective exchange rate shares in 2011. Yet, these economies accounted for only 1.5% of the global economy, but nearly 11% of the world population.
- The six largest middle income economies — China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico — account for 32.3% of world GDP, whereas the 6 largest high income economies — United States, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom, and Italy — account for 32.9%.
- Roughly 28% of the world’s population lives in economies with GDP per capita expenditures above the $13,460 world average and 72% are below that average.
- The five economies with the highest GDP per capita are Qatar, Macao SAR, China, Luxembourg, Kuwait, and Brunei. The first two economies have more than $100,000 per capita.
- Eight economies — Malawi, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Niger, Burundi, DR Congo, Comoros and Liberia — have a GDP per capita of less than $1,000.
The 2011 round of ICP covered 199 economies — the most extensive effort to measure PPPs across countries ever undertaken. The organization explains that when converting national economic measures (e.g. GDP), into a common currency, PPPs are a more direct measure of what money can buy than exchange rates.