The world's largest economiesThe economic strength of a country is determined by its gross domestic product (GDP). In other words, the amount of all income generated in the country from the sale of goods and services.
With a GDP of 23.32 trillion dollars, the USA is by far the world's largest economy in this ranking for 2021. It is followed by China in second place with a GDP of 17.73 trillion dollars. Canada is also quite far ahead in the international comparison and occupies the ninth place in this ranking.
► The richest countries in the world
► Average income in comparison
Biggest economies in 2021 by gross domestic product
|Rank||Country||GDP in billion $||GDP in $ per capita|
|34||United Arab Emirates||415.0||44,316|
|40||Hong Kong *||369.2||49,801|
Calculated differently: Economic strength per capitaLarge countries with many inhabitants naturally also have high sales and a correspondingly a high gross domestic product. A large but not populous country like Canada, with its current population of 38.2 million, has little chance of matching the combined economic output of 331.9 million US-Americans or 1.4 billion Chinese. However, if you compare the economic output per capita, the picture is suddenly completely different. The USA slips from its top position to 11th place. China, with 12,556 USD per inhabitant, only reaches 79th place. And right at the top are the Principality of Monaco ($ 234,315), Liechtenstein ($ 157,755), and Luxembourg with $ 133,590 per inhabitant. Canada moves from ninth to 23rd place.
(Based on all 212 countries evaluated. The table above only shows the most important 50 of them.)
Gross domestic product or gross national product?The gross domestic product (GDP) is the sum of all revenues generated domestically within a year. The respective person’s nationality does not matter. Thus, if a guest worker lives in a country, his or her economic performance is included in the GDP. On the other hand, GDP does not include services provided by nationals abroad.
In the case of gross national product (GNP), on the other hand, all income is deducted against that which has subsequently flowed abroad. The services of guest workers are thus reallocated to the worker’s home country. In individual economic sectors, this is quite appropriate. However, if one evaluates the economic performance of a country, the country not only provides the workers, but also land, machines, innovations and sales markets. Last but not least, the income is usually also taxed there. Therefore, one takes the GDP.
* Hong Kong is not an independent and sovereign country, but special administrative region of China. Further information on the definition of a country can be found in our article What is a country?