Last updated on September 17th, 2022 at 08:58 pm
Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa are the only three African countries that make the list of the 50 world’s largest economies. The three countries pulled a combined $1.4 trillion of GDP.
According to International Monetary Fund (IMF data), the nominal GDP of Nigeria as of April 2022 was $511 billion, Egypt stands at $436 billion while South Africa’s 2022 GDP was $426 billion.
GDP is Gross Domestic Product which is the market value of all finished goods and services by the private and public sectors of a country in a given year.
Table of Contents
- Ranking the Largest Economies
- Which continent dominates the list?
The cost of living in different countries is not a factor in determining the nominal GDP. It is economically wise to note that fluctuations in the exchange rates of the country’s currency play a major factor in the variation.
Ranking the Largest Economies
The United States maintains its 131-year record of being the world’s largest economy with a GDP of $25.3 trillion — bigger than the economies of Africa, Oceania and South America combined – followed by China with $19.9 trillion.
Between 2020 and 2022, the world economy showed significant improvement in terms of nominal GDP. For instance, the world’s GDP was $88 trillion in 2020, by 2021, $6 trillion of GDP was added, putting the figure at $94 trillion.
And by April 2022, $10 trillion was added to the global GDP, thereby surpassing the $100 trillion mark. IMF projected that by the end of 2022, the global economic output will reach nearly $104 trillion.
In the latest 50 world’s largest economies, all continents except Antarctica are represented on the IMF statistical data – maybe when investors take production to the ice-covered landmass of the isolated continent, Antarctica may come on the list in the near future.
Japan, the second largest economy in Asia, is ranked No. 3 with $4.9 trillion in the top 50 rankings, followed by Europe’s biggest economy, Germany with $4.3 trillion.
The United Kingdom which is No. 2 in Europe occupies the 5th position with a $3.4 trillion GDP despite hyperinflation and stagflation that are ravaging economies around the world.
No country in Africa appears in the top 30. The biggest African economy Nigeria comes in the 31st position.
|1||USA||$25.3 trillion||North America|
|5||United Kingdom||$3.4 trillion||Europe|
|8||Canada||$2.2 trillion||North America|
|10||Brazil||$1.8 trillion||South America|
|12||South Korea||$1.8 trillion||Asia|
|16||Mexico||$1.3 trillion||North America|
|18||Saudi Arabia||$1.0 trillion||Asia|
|26||Argentina||$564 billion||South America|
|32||United Arab Emirates||$501 billion||Asia|
|36||South Africa||$426 billion||Africa|
Special Administrative Region
|43||Colombia||$351 billion||South America|
|44||Chile||$318 billion||South America|
|49||New Zealand||$257 billion||Oceania|
Which continent dominates the list?
With 48 countries and being the largest continent by landmass (17,226,000 sq mi) and by population (4.6 billion by 2018 estimate), Asia is definitely explored its numbers in the list of biggest economies.
Among the 50 economies under review by the IMF, 20 countries in Asia comfortably featured on the top 50 largest economies in the world.
They include China, Japan, India, Russia, South Korea, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Turkey. Others are Thailand, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Iraq, and Vietnam.
Two transcontinental countries that are classified as Asian are Russia and Turkey. A transcontinental country has its territory on more than one continent.
For instance, Russia has 77% of its area in Asia while the remaining 23% of the country is located in Europe. For Turkey, 97% of its territory lies in Asia while 3% of its territory is in Europe.
By projection, China’s economy is expected to surpass the US economy by 2030. The economic war between the North American and Asian countries is also expected to heighten eight years before the 2030 projection.
At the time of this report, the 20 countries that featured prominently in the top 50 biggest economies have a combined $41.5 trillion GDP.
The second smallest continent by land area Europe isn’t a continent to joke with when it comes to economic prospects. With Germany as the powerhouse of GDP on the continent, Europe has 18 economies on the list of the top 50, pulling $20.9 trillion GDP put together. This doesn’t include 26 economies that do not make the top 50 largest economies.
Germany’s $4.3 trillion GDP is No. 1, with the UK coming in second place with $3.4 trillion, and France’s $2.9 trillion places it in the third position on the continent. Italy ($2.1 trillion) and Spain ($1.4 trillion) are fourth and fifth respectively in Europe.
Others on the list include the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Austria, and Denmark. Finland, Czech, Romania, and Portugal also make the list in that order.
Note: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to have an impact on the economies of countries in Europe that depend largely on the importation of goods from Russia.
Sanction and counter-sanctions are also expected to affect productivity and demand in the days ahead if the parties involved failed to reach compromises.
Out of the 12 independent countries in South America, four of them made the top 50 biggest economies with Brazil penetrating the top 10 with $1.8 trillion GDP ahead of South Korea and Russia with a GDP of $1.8 trillion each.
Other prominent economies in South America are Argentina ($564 billion), Colombia ($351 billion), and Chile ($318 billion).
The third-largest continent, North America, has just three economies on the list: the United States, Canada, and Mexico with $28.8 trillion GDP put together. US economy is the biggest on the continent and globally with $25.3 trillion.
Wondering how large the US economy is?
Sometimes in 2019, data by the African Development Bank (AfDB) reveals that the economy of California – one of the states in the United States – has a Gross State Product (GSP) bigger than the economies of 54 African countries put together.
With numerous untapped mineral resources, Africa’s economy should have been one of the best in the world, unfortunately, war, ethnic violence, religious bigotry, political violence and poor leadership remain major factors pulling the second largest continent from achieving its full potential.
Out of 54 countries on the continent, only three economies – Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa – make it to the top 50 IMF’s list of largest economies, pulling $1.4 trillion altogether. In terms of World bank’s Human Capital Index, Nigeria is among the poorest countries in HCI
Australia and New Zealand, the two largest economies on the smallest continent by land area collectively have a $1.4 trillion GDP.
Global economic projections will most likely be revised because of the current hyperinflation and conflicts around the world.
But then, we hope to see the world’s largest economies like the USA, China, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom consolidate on their economic gains even as they battle the tough economic challenges ahead.
- The World Bank (June 07, 2022). “Stagflation Risk Rises Amid Sharp Slowdown in Growth”. worldbank.org.
- Nicolas Rapp and Brian O’Keefe (January 30, 2022). “This chart shows how China will soar past the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy by 2030”. fortune.com