16 June 2011

Top and Bottom GDP Growers over the Past Decade

Commentators are asking for context for this graph. Personally, I threw it up because I found it interesting and surprising. I did not expect Equatorial Guinea to be at the top of the list. As has been pointed out, using this to say that development has taken place in the top growth countries is misleading (as is the case with relying on any single indicator). According to The Economist, GDP per person is still the measure that gives the best indicator of economic progress or lack thereof."

To give an idea of the importance of context "Slow population growth also helps: although America's economy has grown considerably faster than Japan's since 2001, Japan’s population has shrunk while America's has risen. This means that income per head in Japan has grown almost as rapidly as in America over this period." I would add that for some of the faster growing nations it is not shown where the growth is happening. Natural resources contribute to the rise which makes me wonder if that means that technocrats and oligarchs are growing in wealth.

If I can do so, it would be useful to compare these rates against unemployment, median income levels and poverty rates.

Via The Economist