There has been much ado made about the growth of China's economy lately, and projections forecast that within the next 50 years it will overtake the United States as having the highest GDP in the world. With both China and India at the forefront, the next 50 years is likely to see a major shift globally, as more and more economic power is diverted away from North America and Western Europe and into Asia. While many accept this shift is already occurring, the countries with the fastest growing GDP are ones you will likely not expect. While the United States and European Union are often seen as the premier economic powerhouses of the world, the truth is that GDP growth in these areas has become rather stagnant in recent years. In fact, of the countries with the five slowest GDP growth rates in the decade from 2003 to 2013, only one country - Zimbabwe - lies outside Europe. The others - San Marino, Greece, Portugal, and Italy - continue to be plagued by the ongoing economic crisis that came to a head in 2007.
In terms of current GDP, the rankings are more or less what is expected. The United States is in the lead, followed by China, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. When ranking GDP based on purchasing power parity, the results are slightly different, with the United States and China transposing their respective positions, India moving into the third spot, and the United Kingdom not making it into the top 5. In terms of absolute GDP, the bottom 5 from among the top 50 economies are Portugal, Kazakhstan, Greece, Qatar, and the Czech Republic. When listed in terms of purchasing power parity, that same list is changed greatly, with Austria, Peru, Norway, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic rounding out the bottom.
What is interesting to see is just how far ahead the world's top economies are. With the exception of China - which in recent months has also seen somewhat of an economic slow-down - none of the top economies are experiencing major growth. By contrast, some of the worst economies are displaying remarkable growth. For example, the Czech Republic saw its GDP grow by 3.8% in 2015, compared to 2.0% in 2014 and a dismal -0.6% back in 2013. Moving outside of the top 50 economies, we see that, despite a -37.3% GDP growth rate in 2013, the Central African Republic has managed to bounce back impressively, with 2015 posting a positive GDP growth of 3.5%.
One factor that may be linked to the growth of sub Saharan African economies and those of Asia since 2013 has been decreased crude oil prices. By not having to spend as much on importing crude oil, nations lacking their own oil reserves are able to have more economic freedom. Furthermore, with regard to the impressive GDP growth in sub Saharan Africa, Sierra Leone is a shining example of economic progress within the region. With a real GDP growth rate of 13.3%, Sierra Leone is just one of many nations in the region registering positive economic numbers since the passing of the most recent mass Ebola scare and an increased sense of peace and geopolitical stability. Similarly, in Asia foreign investments and exports of agricultural products and technology continue to drive economies there upward. However, as many nations with growing GDPs rely heavily on foreign investments and tourism, such as Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Thailand, those people and governments in countries where foreign money plays a huge role in economic development would be acting prudently in diversifying and backing up their financial investments and economic policies.
GDP Growth By Country
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|Rank||Countries with the highest growth of the gross domestic product (GDP)||Growth in Percentage|
|1||Papua New Guinea||19.33 %|
|6||Ivory Coast||7.75 %|
|10||Lao P.D.R.||7.31 %|