Countries With the Highest GDP

In terms of GDP, the United States remains the world's richest country.
In terms of GDP, the United States remains the world's richest country.

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product. Although it can be measured per capita, this article focuses on the GDP of the country as a whole. Several factors influence the GDP of a country including the per capita income, the amount of goods produced and exported, and the wealth of a country among other factors. Below are the ten largest economies in the world.

Countries With the Highest GDP

The United States

The US has a population of 310 million people and is the world's largest economy with a GDP of 18.57 trillion dollars. Its per capita income is $56,116. The United States is highly industrialized with some of the largest automotive and technological firms located in the country. The country is the world’s largest importer and the second largest exporter. The growth of the US economy is also accredited to the fact that it protects its firms from unfair competition and promotes innovation.


The People’s Republic of China is the second largest economy in the world with a GDP of 11.22 trillion dollars although its per capita income of $14,160 is fairly lower than other developed nations due to its population of approximately 1.382 billion people. China’s economy has risen rapidly in the past thirty years and in 2010, the country surpassed Japan. In 2014, China surpassed the United States as the largest exporter. As of 2016, China was the United State’s largest trading partner, trading $578.6 billion between them. China exported $462.8 billion to the US and imported $115.8 billion worth of exports, particularly machinery and electrical equipment.


Japan’s economy ranks third with a GDP of $4.94 trillion, nearly a quarter of the US economy. Its per capita income is $40,763. Unlike other economies, Japan's economy is shrinking. In 2012, Japan’s economy was at an all-time high with $6.2 trillion. The country has been fighting deflation which has led to low exports, a significant drop in prices of goods, and a stagnating economy. Its top exports include vehicles and vehicle parts while petroleum and petroleum products are its top imports. The US, China, and South Korea are Japan’s largest trading partners.


Germany is Europe’s largest economy and the fourth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $3.47 trillion and a per capita income of $47,377. In 2016, Germany’s trade surplus totaled $310 billion which was the largest trade surplus in the world. Germany’s exports of $1.27 trillion ranked the country as the third largest exporter only coming behind the US and China. The service sector contributes 70% of the total GDP while industries contribute 29.1%. Exports account for 41% of the total output, with vehicles, machinery, and chemical goods being its largest exports.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is Europe’s second largest economy and the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.63 trillion and a per capita income of $41,801. The UK economy consists of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In 2016 the country ranked as the 10th largest exporter and the 5th largest importer in the world. The service industry contributes 78% of the GDP. The pharmaceutical industry has been on the rise. London is Europe's largest city in terms of GDP and in 2016, the city surpassed New York as the world’s leading financial center according to Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI).


France is Europe’s third largest economy and the sixth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.46 trillion and a per capita income of $40,470. Its telecommunications, energy, chemical, and tourism industries are major contributors to the economy. It is the EU’s largest exporter of agricultural produce and the sixth largest agricultural producer in the world. The country also has one of the best transport systems in the world characterized by well-maintained road and rail networks. It is the most preferred tourist destination in both Europe and the world with approximately 84 million tourists every year.


India has a GDP of $2.27 trillion and a per capita income of $6020. It is a newly industrialized nation that was ranked the fastest growing economy until 2016 when it was surpassed by China due to the government’s demonetization which caused a cash crisis. Its service sector grows at an annual rate of 9% while its economy grew by 7.6% for the year 2015-16. It is the second largest exporter of agricultural output. The agriculture sector accounts for 26% of the GDP and 22% of the total employment. refined petroleum ($29.2 billion) is the country’s largest export while crude petroleum ($64.6 billion) is its largest import.


Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $1.85 trillion and a per capita income of $35,850. It is also the 8th largest exporter in the world exporting $514 billion of goods and services. Germany and France are its trading partners, while the EU is its largest trading block. Its agricultural industry is thriving, particularly the vineyards, making Italy the largest producer of wine. The automotive industry is also a major player with Fiat, Chrysler, Ducati, and Piaggio among its top automobile companies. Packaged medicaments ($20.1 billion) are its top export while cars ($22.8 billion) are its top import.


Brazil is the ninth largest economy in the world and the largest economy in South America’s with a GDP of $1.8 trillion and a per capita income of $15,020. It the 21st largest exporter in the world. Between 2000 and 2012, the economy grew at a rapid rate and it was ranked sixth above Italy, the UK, and India before it decelerated in 2013. In 2014 the country went into a full recession relegating the country to 9th place. The service sector contributes 67% of the economy while the industrial sector contributes 27.5%. Different agricultural produce such as soybeans ($21.1 billion), poultry meat ($6.53 billion), and raw sugar ($7.83 billion) are among the country’s top exports while refined petroleum ($8.04 billion), and petroleum products are its top imports.


Canada is the tenth largest economy with a GDP of $1.53 trillion and a per capita income of $44,310. It is the eleventh largest exporter in the world exporting $389 billion in 2015. Its largest sector is the service industry employing about three-quarters of the labor force. Other key sectors include manufacturing, vehicle assembly, energy, and agriculture. Canada’s top exports includes crude and refined petroleum. Although cars are at the top of the country’s exports, they are also its top imports.

Per capital income

Of the 10 largest economies, only the US ranks within the ten countries with the largest per capita income. Qatar ranks first with a per capita income of $141,543 while Luxembourg ranks second with $101,926. Despite its large population, the US ranks tenth with a per capita income of $56,116

Countries With the Highest GDP

RankCountryGDP (USD, Millions) Source: International Monetary Fund
1United States18,569,100
5United Kingdom2,629,188
11South Korea1,411,246
20Saudi Arabia639,617

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