Gross Domestic Product or GDP is the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country during a certain period. This is in contrast with Gross National Product or GNP which refers to the market value of all goods and services produced by the country’s citizens.
GDP vs. GNP
While the GDP is limited by geographic borders, the GNP is bounded by ownership. The income, for example, of a Filipino citizen working as an OFW in Saudi Arabia would NOT be counted in the Philippines’ GDP but will be included in the country’s GNP. Similarly, that OFW’s income would be counted as part of Saudi Arabia’s GDP but not part of GNP since the OFW is not a Saudi citizen.
An easy memory device to differentiate the two was taught to us by our high school Economics teacher. Consider GDP as Gawa Dito sa Pinas, meaning the economic output counted is limited to the Philippine boundaries regardless of ownership. GNP, on the other hand, can be remembered as Gawa Ng Pinoy, which refers to all output produced by Filipino citizens or Filipino enterprises wherever they may be.
GDP per capita
Gross Domestic Product alone does not show whether a country is wealthy or not. What is used, however, as an indicator of standard of living of a country is the GDP output divided by the country’s population — also known as GDP per capita. The GDP per capita is not really a measure of personal income but is used to provide a general idea of the individual’s contribution to the economic output of the country.
Thus, a country like China with a huge GDP of $10.09 trillion — the second largest in the world — only has a GDP per capita as of 2010 of around $7,600 (ranked 95th) due to its big population reaching almost 1.4 billion.
Qatar, a country with only 1.7 million people, has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Its GDP per capita is $90,950 which means on average, each person in Qatar is contributing $90,950 to the country’s economic output.
The Philippines, meanwhile, is ranked 121st in a list of 180 countries, recording a GDP per capita of $3,925 as of the year 2010.
Region-wise, the European region has the mot concentration of countries with the highest GDP per capita. The region with the lowest GDP per capita on average is the South Asian region.
Top 10 Countries in the World with Highest GDP per Capita
* Special administrative regions of China
Top 10 Highest GDP per Capita (Southeast Asia)
Top 10 Highest GDP per Capita (North and Central America)
Top 10 Highest GDP per Capita (Latin America)
Top 20 Highest GDP per Capita (Europe)
Top 10 Highest GDP per Capita (East Asia and Pacific)
Top 8 Highest GDP per Capita (South Asia)
Top 10 Highest GDP per Capita (Middle East)
Top 10 Highest GDP per Capita (Africa)
Source: World Bank