The world economy or global economy is the economy of all humans of the world, referring to the global economic system, which includes all economic activities which are conducted both within and between nations, including production, consumption, economic management, work in general, exchange of financial values and trade of goods and services. In some contexts, the two terms are distinct "international" or "global economy" being measured separately and distinguished from national economies, while the "world economy" is simply an aggregate of the separate countries' measurements. Beyond the minimum standard concerning value in production, use and exchange, the definitions, representations, models and valuations of the world economy vary widely. It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of planet Earth.
It is common to limit questions of the world economy exclusively to human economic activity, and the world economy is typically judged in monetary terms, even in cases in which there is no efficient market to help valuate certain goods or services, or in cases in which a lack of independent research, genuine data or government cooperation makes establishing figures difficult. Typical examples are illegal drugs and other black market goods, which by any standard are a part of the world economy, but for which there is, by definition, no legal market of any kind.
However, even in cases in which there is a clear and efficient market to establish a monetary value, economists do not typically use the current or official exchange rate to translate the monetary units of this market into a single unit for the world economy since exchange rates typically do not closely reflect worldwide value, for example in cases where the volume or price of transactions is closely regulated by the government.
Rather, market valuations in a local currency are typically translated to a single monetary unit using the idea of purchasing power. This is the method used below, which is used for estimating worldwide economic activity in terms of real United States dollars or euros. However, the world economy can be evaluated and expressed in many more ways. It is unclear, for example, how many of the world's 7.8 billion people (as of March 2020[update]) have most of their economic activity reflected in these valuations.
According to Maddison[who?], until the middle of the 19th century, global output was dominated by China and India. Waves of the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe and Northern America shifted the shares to the Western Hemisphere. As of 2022, the following 18 countries or collectives have reached an economy of at least US$2 trillion by GDP in nominal or PPP terms: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
Despite high levels of government investment, the World Bank predicted that the global economy would decrease by 5.2 percent in 2020. Cities account for 80% of global GDP, thus they would face the brunt of this decline.
|Country group||List of country groups by
in 2022 (or at peaked level)
|List of country groups by
in 2022 (or at peaked level)
(in millions of US$)
(in millions of US$)
|Major advanced economies (G7)||45,107,745||43.4%||49,365,287||30.8%||7|| United States|
|Emerging and developing Asia||27,008,220||26.0%||53,075,051||33.1%||30|| China|
|Other advanced economies
(advanced economies excluding the G7)
|14,140,022||13.6%||18,082,059||11.3%||33|| South Korea|
|Middle East and Central Asia||6,011,585||5.8%||11,869,342||7.4%||32|| Saudi Arabia|
United Arab Emirates
|Latin America and the Caribbean||5,462,553
(peaked at 6,060,353 in 2013)
|Emerging and developing Europe||4,073,723
(peaked at 4,573,783 in 2013)
(peaked at 11,343,072 in 2021)
|Sub-Saharan Africa||2,063,261||2.0%||5,047,744||3.2%||45|| Nigeria|
|The 25 largest economies by GDP (nominal), twenty largest economies by GDP (PPP) as of 2022. Members of the G-20 major economies are in bold.|
|List of the 25 largest economies
by GDP (nominal) at their peak level as of 2022 in million US$
|List of the 25 largest economies
by GDP (PPP) at their peak level as of 2022 in million Int$
|List of the 25 economies by highest
GDP (nominal) per capita at their peak level as of 2022 in US$
|List of the 25 economies by highest|
GDP (PPP) per capita at their peak level as of 2022 in Int$
|The following is a list of the twenty largest economies by nominal GDP at peak value as of the specific year, according to the International Monetary Fund.|
|1||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States|
|3||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||West Germany||Germany||Germany||Germany||Japan||Japan||Japan||Japan||Japan|
|4||West Germany||West Germany||France||France||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||Germany||Germany||Germany||Germany||India|
|5||France||France||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||France||China||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||India||Germany|
|6||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||Soviet Union||Italy||Italy||France||France||France||France||United Kingdom||United Kingdom|
|12||Mexico||Argentina||Brazil||South Korea||South Korea||Mexico||Canada||Spain||South Korea||South Korea||Russia|
|14||India||Brazil||Australia||Netherlands||India||Russia||South Korea||South Korea||Australia||Iran||Iran|
|17||Brazil||Saudi Arabia||South Korea||Switzerland||Australia||Iran||Turkey||Netherlands||Turkey||Mexico||Mexico|
|19||Belgium||Sweden||Sweden||Argentina||Argentina||Switzerland||Switzerland||Saudi Arabia||Iran||Saudi Arabia||Turkey|
|20||Switzerland||Belgium||Argentina||Belgium||Taiwan||Sweden||Iran||Switzerland||Saudi Arabia||Taiwan||Saudi Arabia|
|List of twenty largest economies by GDP based on purchasing power parity at peak value as of the specific year according to the International Monetary Fund and the CIA World Factbook.|
|1||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||United States||China||China||China|
|2||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||Japan||China||China||China||China||United States||United States||United States|
|4||West Germany||West Germany||West Germany||Germany||Germany||India||Japan||Japan||Japan||Japan||Japan|
|8||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||France||United Kingdom||Brazil||France||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||United Kingdom|
|9||Saudi Arabia||China||Brazil||Brazil||Russia||United Kingdom||United Kingdom||France||Brazil||Brazil||Brazil|
|14||Canada||Spain||Indonesia||Saudi Arabia||Canada||Canada||Spain||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea|
|15||Iran||Iran||Saudi Arabia||Canada||Saudi Arabia||South Korea||Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||Spain||Spain||Spain|
|16||Indonesia||Indonesia||Iran||Iran||South Korea||Saudi Arabia||Iran||Spain||Canada||Canada||Canada|
|17||Argentina||Turkey||Turkey||South Korea||Iran||Iran||Canada||Canada||Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia|
Telephones – main lines in use: 843,923,500 (2007)
Transportation infrastructure worldwide includes:
The Royal Society in a 2011 report stated that in terms of number of papers the share of English-language scientific research papers the United States was first followed by China, the UK, Germany, Japan, France, and Canada. In 2015, research and development constituted an average 2.2% of the global GDP according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Metrics and rankings of innovation include the Bloomberg Innovation Index, the Global Innovation Index and the share of Nobel laureates per capita.
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (September 2020)
From the scientific perspective, economic activities are embedded in a web of dynamic, interrelated, and interdependent activities that constitute the natural system of Earth. Novel application of cybernetics in decision-making (such as in decision-making related to process- and product-design and related laws) and direction of human activity (such as economic activity) may make it easier to control modern ecological problems.
|Estimations of world population and GDP from a 2020 research paper|
|GDP per capita
($1990 in PPP)
|GDP in billion |
($1990 in PPP)
One example for a comparable metric other than GDP are the OECD Better Life Index rankings for different aggregative domains.
Explained by: Housing
Explained by: Income
Explained by: Jobs
Explained by: Community
Explained by: Education
Explained by: Environment
Explained by: Civic engagement
Explained by: Health
Explained by: Life Satisfaction
Explained by: Safety
Explained by: Work-Life Balance
|OECD Better Life Index rankings for 2016|
|Country||Housing||Income||Jobs||Community||Education||Environment||Civic engagement||Health||Life Satisfaction||Safety||Work-Life Balance|
The index includes 11 comparable "dimensions" of well-being:
To promote exports, many government agencies publish on the web economic studies by sector and country. Among these agencies include the USCS (US DoC) and FAS (USDA) in the United States, the EDC and AAFC in Canada, Ubifrance in France, the UKTI in the United Kingdom, the HKTDC and JETRO in Asia, Austrade and the NZTE in Oceania. Through Partnership Agreements, the Federation of International Trade Associations publishes studies from several of these agencies (USCS, FAS, AAFC, UKTI, and HKTDC) as well as other non-governmental organizations on its website globaltrade.net.