Economy > Background: Countries Compared

Argentina Argentina has had its problems economically, but with a GDP (PPP) worth $486 billion in 2004 most experts will admit there is potential. However, with the 3rd lowest business efficiency rating (37.826) and and economic freedom rating of 2.05, there is much to do.
Australia Australia’s economic growth over the last three decades has been impressive. Its GDP growth between 1980 and 2000 was 52% while the GDP growth rate between 1998 and 2002 was the 5th highest in the world. The result is that Australia has the 8th most significant economy in the world, and has gained a place amongst the top 10 in terms of both economic freedom and business efficiency.
Canada The Canadian economy is amongst the 13 largest in the world, with a GDP (PPP) worth just over $993 billion in 2005. It Gross National Income is estimated to be $682 billion, the 8th highest in the world. Little surprise then that Canada's economic importance rating of 16.9 places it 7th in the world, and with the 5th highest business efficiency rating of more than 82, its prominence is likely to continue.
China China is one of the global economic giants, with one the US managing to register a bigger GDP (PPP). Once an economic minnow, its turn-around came from the massive GDP growth rate in the two decades between 1980 and 2000, when the figure grew by 382%  Being a communist state, China as a low economic freedom rating of just 1.43, and with a modest business efficiency rating of 63.219, there is room for China to grow even stronger.
Colombia Colombia's economy is strong, with its GDP (PPP) figuring amongst the biggest 30 in the world. However, inequality is a major problem with more than 46% of the nation's wealth controlled by the richest 10% of the population. The most recently available figures, published in from 2003, show Colombia has the least equal economy amongst 35 nations included that year, with a GINI Index rating of 58.62, a figure which stands as the 8th highest in the world.
Czech Republic For a country of its population, the Czech Republic enjoys a comfortable position economically speaking. With its GDP (PPP) already having improved from its 2004 figure of $197 billion, and the nation boasting a very high Human Development Index rating of 0.874. The country also boasts on of the most equal divisions of wealth in the world, with the richest 10% of the population controlling just 22.4% of the nation's wealth and the poorest 10% controlling some 4.3%, the 6th highest percentage share in the world.
Germany Germany has the biggest economy of the EU and Europe, and is rated as the 3rd most important economy globally and with a GDP (PPP) of more than $2 trillion that's not hard to accept. Happily, the country is happy to share the wealth and is the 4th biggest economic aid donor, with more than $10 billion in aid between 2003 and 2008. Surprisingly, the German economy ranks poorly in the business efficiency rankings, with a score of 67.842 placing it 21st, behind Ireland (12th), Luxembourg (10th) Finland (6th) and Iceland (4th).
Ghana Ghana has one of the strongest economies in Africa. in 2005, it had the 69th largest GDP (PPP) for the year, worth $48 billion and its annual GDP growth rate has managed to remains steady over the past decade. However, with 44.8% of the population living on less than $1 per day, poverty remains a real problem. Ghana is home to 0.78% share of the world's poor, the 11th highest percentage share.
Greece As a member of the EU since 1981, the Greek economy had made some strides economically. Its Human Development Index rating of .0912 placed the country in a respectable 24th of 178 nations, while its GINI Index rating of 34.27 was equally impressive position at 94th overall. However, tough times have arrived and with a low business efficiency rating of 50.332, placing it 41st amongst 51 countries, it was vulnerable.
Haiti Though it may be one of the most populous nations in the region, Haiti has one of the poorest economies, with a GDP (PPP) of less than $15 billion. Not only that, but it also has one of the most modest annual GDP growth rates, largely struggling to get out of decline since the late 1970s. Consumers have it particularly bad with the cost of typical produce ranking 11th in the Consumer Price Index, at 248.29%, just behind Ghana (250.62%) though quite some distance behind the top ranked country, Angola (1,845.91%).
Italy Italy is one of the major economic powers in Europe and is the 8th largest GDP (PPP) globally, worth more than $1.6 trillion in 2004 and more recently over $1.7 trillion. The country's citizens benefit from one of the most economically equal social structures with 3.5% of the national income earned by the poorest 10% of the population, placing Italy 21st in the world. The richest 10%, meanwhile, earns 21.8% of the national income, the 108th rate amongst 114 nations.
Jamaica Being a small island nation, one of Jamaica's economic strengths lies in its tourism, with tourism receipts totally $1.8 billion in 2005, making its the 61st highest grossing tourism destinations in the world that year and 5th highest in the region, behind the Dominican Republic (45th), Puerto Rico (48th), the Bahamas (56th) and Cuba (57th). Trade, of course, is hugely important too, with trade in goods accounting for more than 58% of GDP, with trade in services accounting for the remaining 42%.
Japan Japan has the 3rd biggest economy i the world, behind the US and China, with a GDP (PPP) of more than $3.7 trillion in 2004 to over $4.3 trillion in 2010. However, in terms of economic importance, Japan out-ranks its Asian cousins, China, taking 2nd spot with a score of 57.1, behind the US's 197.9. The nation can also boast one of the most economically equal societies. The poorest 10% of the population earns 4.8% of the annual Japanese income, the 2nd highest share in the world behind 5.1% earned by both Belarus' and Slovakia's poorest population. Japan's richest 10%, meanwhile, earns 21.7%, one of the lowest percentage shares in the world.
Netherlands The Netherlands is rated amongst the top 20 most important economies in the world - in fact 13th - but it is far more important to international aid. In fact, its commitment to foreign aid second only to Denmark, while between 2003 and 2008, it was the 6th largest economic aid donor in the world, giving more than $5 billion worth.
Peru Peru’s GDP annual rate of growth has enjoyed something of an up and down pattern, but grew by an impressive 6.45% in 2005. In 2006, its GDP was worth $93 billion, placing it 55th in the world. However, the country figures amongst the poorest nations in the world, with 15.5% of the population living on less than $1 per day.
Poland Since joining the EU in 2004, Poland’s economic growth has been modest at just 3.4%. it might have been better but for the state’s low business efficiency rating, placing them 48th in the world in 2005. Still, its GDP (PPP) is just below $500 billion, the 22nd largest globally.
Saudi Arabia Despite Saudi Arabia’s link with the wealth of the oil industry, it had a modest GDP of just $309 billion in 2005 - the 27th highest in the world - though that has improved since. At the same time, the Saudi economy recorded a healthy economic growth of 6.6%. Meanwhile, their economic freedom rating of 2.05 places the state low on the international table.
South Africa With a GDP of more than $250 billion, South Africa’s economy is not by any means amongst the smallest in the world, it is amongst the most unequal. According to the GINI Index, it is the 10th most unequal today, with GINI figures for 2000 placing South Africa 1st at the time. In fact, almost 50% of the country’s wealth is controlled by the richest 10% of the population.
Spain Spain is one of the biggest economies in Europe, and indeed is placed 9th in Economic Importance with a rating of 8.1. It’s only understandable when, in 2006, Spain boasted the 10th largest GDP, worth more than $1 trillion, although this seems to have been achieved in spite of a low business efficiency rating of just 59.34.
Switzerland Switzerland boasted the 22nd largest GDP in 2006, worth over $379 billion, making the state the 18th most economically important. However, it also has one of the lowest GDP annual rates of growth in Europe, growing by just 1.9% in 2005.
Thailand Thailand’s economy is one the healthiest in the region. 2004 figures show that it’s GDP (PPP) was the 19th strongest in the world at $510 billion, and boasted a GDP growth rate of 4.46%. IN fact, Thailand’s business efficiency rating is the 3rd highest for the region, behind only Hong Kong and Singapore, and the 25th globally.
Turkey The Turkish economy has developed dramatically over the decades. Between 1986 and 2006, for example its annual GDP grew from $75 billion to $402 billion. But despite the rapid growth, it still has its problems. It is ranked 124th in terms of Economic Freedom and while its business efficiency rating is a lowly 51.293, the 39th highest of 51 nations.
Ukraine Despite its size and population, Ukraine has a modest GDP of just over $106 billion, placing it 48th in the world in 2005. Its stumbling block is arguably its economic freedom, which is ranked 133rd in 156 global economies, though its stature as a top 10 tourism destination continues to aid its development.
United States There is no disputing the fact that the US is the biggest economy in the world, with a steady GDP growth to more than $13 trillion by 2006. It is top of the Economic Importance table, and the business efficiency measure by which all other nations are compared. Perhaps surprisingly then, its economic freedom rating is only 6th in the world, behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxemburg, New Zealand and Ireland.
Vietnam As a communist state, Vietnam has an understandably low economic freedom rating, with its rate of 1.3 placing it 138th amongst 156 nations. Nevertheless, its GDP (PPP) was the 35th strongest in 2004, at $222 billion, and has enjoyed a steady GDP annual growth rate since 1998, with a high of 8.42% recorded in 2005.
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe’s economy is one of the weakest, with a GDP growth rate of -6.5% recorded in 2005 and GDP per capita of just $190 in 2007. Hyperinflation saw the collapse of its currency, with a consumer index rating of 424.26% in 2002, the 3rd highest almost two decades. It has the 2nd lowest economic freedom rating, which suggests little progress will be made anytime soon.


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