May 25, 2022

Nominal GDP Rankings by Country

What are the largest economies in the world? According to the International Monetary Fund, these are the highest ranking countries in the world in nominal GDP:

  1. United States (GDP: 20.49 trillion)
  2. China (GDP: 13.4 trillion)
  3. Japan: (GDP: 4.97 trillion)
  4. Germany: (GDP: 4.00 trillion)
  5. United Kingdom: (GDP: 2.83 trillion)
  6. France: (GDP: 2.78 trillion)
  7. India: (GDP: 2.72 trillion)
  8. Italy: (GDP: 2.07 trillion)
  9. Brazil: (GDP: 1.87 trillion)
  10. Canada: (GDP: 1.71 trillion)

The Largest Economies in the World

The three largest economies in the world as measured by nominal GDP are the United States, China, and Japan. Economic growth and prosperity are impacted by a wide array of factors, namely investment in workforce education, production output (as determined by investment in physical capital), natural resources, and entrepreneurship.

The economies of the U.S., China, and Japan all have a unique combination of these factors that have led to economic growth over time.

United States

The United States has been the world’s largest economy since 1871. The nominal GDP for the United States is $21.44 trillion. The U.S. GDP (PPP) is also $21.44 trillion. Additionally, the United States is ranked second in the world for the approximate value of natural resources. In 2016, the U.S. had an estimated natural resource value of $45 trillion.

Several factors contribute to the U.S.’s powerful economy. The U.S. is known globally for cultivating a society that supports and encourages entrepreneurship, which encourages innovation and, in turn, leads to economic growth. The growing population in the U.S. has helped diversify the workforce. The U.S. is also one of the leading manufacturing industries in the world, coming only second to China. The U.S. dollar is also the most widely used currency for global transactions.


As the second-largest economy in the world, China has seen an average growth rate of 9.52% between 1989 and 2019. China is the second-largest economy considering nominal GDP, at $14.14 trillion, and the largest using GDP (PPP), which is $27.31 trillion. China has approximately $23 trillion in natural resources, 90% of which are rare earth metals and coal.

China’s economic reform program of 1978 was a large success and resulted in the rise in average economic growth from 6% to over 9%. The reform program emphasized the creation of private and rural businesses, easing the state regulations on prices, and investment in workforce education and industrial output. Another driving force behind the growth of China’s economy is worker efficiency.


Japan has the third-largest economy in the world with a GDP of $5.15 trillion. Japan’s GDP (PPP) is $5.75 trillion. Japan’s economy is market-driven so businesses, production, and prices shift according to consumer demand, not governmental action. While the 2008 financial crisis took a hit on the Japanese economy and has stunted its growth since then, it is expected that the 2020 Olympics will give it a boost.

The Japanese economy’s strength comes from its electronic goods industry, which is the largest in the world, and its automobile industry, which is the third-largest in the world. Going forward, the Japanese economy faces some large challenges such as a declining population and an ever-increasing debt that, as of 2017, is 236% of its GDP.

World Countries by GDP

Rank  Name GDP (IMF ’19) GDP (UN ’16) GDP Per Capita Population
1 United States 22.20 Tn 18.62 Tn $66,302 334,805,269
2 China 15.47 Tn 11.22 Tn $10,679 1,448,471,400
3 Japan 5.50 Tn 4.94 Tn $43,759 125,584,838
4 Germany 4.16 Tn 3.48 Tn $49,558 83,883,596
5 India 3.26 Tn 2.26 Tn $2,316 1,406,631,776
6 United Kingdom 2.93 Tn 2.65 Tn $42,732 68,497,907
7 France 2.88 Tn 2.47 Tn $43,853 65,584,518
8 Italy 2.09 Tn 1.86 Tn $34,689 60,262,770
9 Brazil 2.06 Tn 1.80 Tn $9,577 215,353,593
10 Canada 1.83 Tn 1.53 Tn $47,735 38,388,419
11 South Korea 1.74 Tn 1.41 Tn $33,983 51,329,899
12 Russia 1.67 Tn 1.25 Tn $11,436 145,805,947
13 Spain 1.50 Tn 1.24 Tn $32,044 46,719,142
14 Australia 1.48 Tn 1.30 Tn $56,829 26,068,792
15 Mexico 1.30 Tn 1.08 Tn $9,864 131,562,772
16 Indonesia 1.21 Tn 932.26 Bn $4,331 279,134,505
17 Netherlands 954.93 Bn 777.23 Bn $55,482 17,211,447
18 Turkey 809.55 Bn 863.71 Bn $9,462 85,561,976

Source: World Population Review
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