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Global GDP - Statistics & Facts

There are several different ways of measuring the economic strength of countries and comparing them with others; gross domestic product (GDP) is the most commonly used tool for this. The term GDP was first developed in the United States in 1930s, when Simon Kuznets, an American Economist and statistician, and Noble prize laureate, came up with an idea to assess the size of economy by combining the financial value of individuals, companies, and the government. After the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, GDP was officially adopted by many financial institutions and regulators as a tool for measuring a country’s economy, and it has become the international standard since the 1990s. At present, GDP is defined as the monetary value of all goods and services produced in a given country or region within a specified time period.

As of 2020, the global GDP amounted to 84.97 trillion U.S. dollars. The GDP of the United States constitutes about a quarter of the global GDP. China is the world’s second largest economy, followed by Japan and Germany. According to the projections for 2030, China’s GDP will increase to 31.73 trillion U.S. dollars, making it the leading country in terms of GDP value.

The GDP figure is often calculated for various industries to see how they contribute to the growth of the economy. Generally speaking, the services sector contributes more to national GDP than any other sector; although the Arab World is one exception, where the industry sector contributes almost as much as the service sector. GDP forecasts, which originally predicted global economic expansion in 2020, had to be readjusted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and now show negative values for this year. Economists are optimistic about the future, however, and predict that the global economies will start to recover in the next years.

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