America is richer than China

Europe

The global gross domestic product (GDP) was 80.1 trillion US dollars in 2017 (in constant prices, base year 2010). Of this, 23.5 percent came from the 28 member states of the European Union (EU), 21.8 percent from the USA and 12.7 percent from China. In 1970 the share of the EU-28 in world GDP was still 35.2 percent - i.e. 11.7 percentage points higher. The US share of world GDP has decreased by 3.6 percentage points since 2000. In contrast, China's share of world GDP rose continuously from 1.0 percent in 1970 to 12.7 percent in 2017 - an increase of 11.7 percentage points. In terms of absolute values, the GDP of the EU almost tripled between 1970 and 2017 and the GDP of the USA about three and a half times. China's GDP in 2017 - starting from a significantly lower starting level - was a good 54 times higher than in 1970.

Facts

The global gross domestic product (GDP) was 80.1 trillion US dollars in 2017 (in constant prices, base year 2010). According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the 28 member states of the European Union (EU) accounted for 23.5 percent or 18.8 trillion US dollars. With a real GDP of 17.4 trillion US dollars, the USA also had a share of more than a fifth of world GDP (21.8 percent). By contrast, China's share was significantly lower at 12.7 percent (US $ 10.2 trillion).

In 1970 the share of the EU-28 in real world GDP was 35.2 percent. By 2017, the share fell to 23.5 percent - this corresponds to a decrease of 11.7 percentage points or 33.2 percent. The share fell steadily and was 30.8 percent in 1990 and 27.9 percent in 2005. The USA's share of world GDP was slightly higher in 2000 than in 1970 (25.4 versus 25.2 percent ), but since then it has decreased in 16 of 17 years - between 2000 and 2017 by a total of 3.6 percentage points or by 14.2 percent. The most noticeable change can be found in China: The share of real world GDP rose continuously from 1.0 percent in 1970 to 12.7 percent in 2017 - the share thus increased by 11.7 percentage points or almost 1,200 percent.

In relation to the absolute values, the real GDP of the EU almost tripled between 1970 and 2017 (factor 2.8) and the GDP of the USA about three and a half times (factor 3.6). China's GDP in 2017 - starting from a significantly lower starting level - was a good 54 times higher than in 1970.

Since the population of China increased from around 825 million to 1.41 billion between 1970 and 2017, or the rate of population growth was higher than that in Europe and the USA, part of the increase in the share of world GDP goes hand in hand with population growth. However, the development of real GDP per capita shows how disproportionately strong growth in China's GDP has been: Between 1970 and 2017, real GDP per capita in the EU-28 increased almost two-and-a-half-fold from 15,588 to 36,811 US dollars (factor 2.4). So did the US GDP per capita, which increased from 22,549 to 53,136 US dollars (factor 2.4). By contrast, real GDP per capita in China rose from $ 226 in 1970 to $ 7,207 in 2017 - an increase by a factor of 31.8.

Data Source

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD): Online database: UNCTADstat (02/2019)

Terms, methodological notes or reading aids

The Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the value of domestically produced goods and services (added value), insofar as these are not used as intermediate inputs for the production of other goods and services. GDP is currently the most important macroeconomic measure of production. The real GDP is independent of price changes, since it is calculated at the prices of a base year (here: 2010), i.e. in constant prices.

More information about the GDP per capita (EU / USA / China) get here ...

Information on Population development (EU / USA / China) get here ...

Information on GDP per capita (worldwide) get here ...

Information on World GDP get here ...

China excluding Hong Kong and Macau.