The largest economies in the world as of 2017, according to the World Bank. Each slice represents the total economic output—a.k.a. nominal GDP— of a country in 2017, the latest year for which complete and reliable data are available. The color corresponds to geographic location.
The ten biggest world economies are as follows:
- United States — $19.39 trillion
- China — $12.24 trillion
- Japan — $4.87 trillion
- Germany — $3.67 trillion
- U.K. — $2.62 trillion
- India — $2.60 trillion
- France — $2.58 trillion
- Brazil — $2.05 trillion
- Italy — $1.93 trillion
- Canada — $1.65 trillion
Keep in mind that nominal GDP is just one way of measuring an economy; an increasingly popular alternative is GDP based on “purchasing power parity”, which considers the comparative buying power of each individual country. By this metric, the ten largest economies look very different:
- United States
You will also get slightly different results depending on the source: the International Monetary Fund, for example, puts France ahead of India, while the CIA puts Italy in eighth place over Brazil.
Going by the World Bank’s nominal GDP data, however, we can see several big changes from last year.
India’s economy has surpassed France to become the sixth biggest in the world; the U.K. is the only economy among the top ten to shrink, dropping from $2.86 trillion to $2.62 trillion (albeit not adjusting for inflation). The U.S. remains the biggest economy in both absolute and proportional terms, comprising nearly one-fourth of the global economy (inching up slightly from 24.32% last year to 24.40% this year). China is continuing to rise as a global economic power, accounting for over 15% of the world’s GDP, up by almost one point from last year.
Brazil, India, and Russia, although widely touted as current or future world powers, continue to punch below their weight, despite their large populations and economic potential. Similarly, other big emerging markets—Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, Indonesia, and Vietnam, to name a few—still have a ways to go, but are far bigger in terms of GDP than they were just a few years ago.
To get a sense of how big these economies are, the combined GDP of the top four—U.S., China, Japan and German—is greater than the rest of the world. Thus, the U.S., Western Europe and East Asia collectively control the world economic order, totaling over 87% of the globe’s GDP.