Bonus List

COUNTRIES WHICH HAVE SEEN THE GREATEST PERCENTAGE GAINS IN PER CAPITA INCOME (GDP) BETWEEN 1961 AND 2004

Unadjusted for inflation, the per capita income (based on gross domestic product) has increased about 20-fold worldwide between 1961 and 2004. However, some countries have seen larger increases than others. Asia, with its emerging economies (some earlier, like Japan; some later, like China) has 6 of the countries in this list of countries making the greatest percentage gains, while Europe (mainly in the south) has contributed the other 4. South Korea is the overwhelming #1; in 1961, it was extremely poor, partly due to the effects of the Korean War (and even had a lower per capita income than North Korea), yet today it is considered "First World" and has a per capita GDP of 216 times what it had in 1961. (Go here for the countries making the smallest gains--you'll see North Korea in that list.)

COUNTRY

1. South Korea
2. China
3. Thailand
4. Indonesia
5. Portugal
6. Spain
7. Japan
8. Ireland
9. Greece
10. Laos
2004 PER CAPITA GDP EXPRESSED
AS A MULTIPLE OF 1961 PER CAPITA GDP
216
82
80
64
60
53
51
47
45
44

Purchasing power parity used for 2004 data. Statistics for a few countries, mostly small, though also including Saudi Arabia, were not available.

Sources of Data: CIA World Factbook (for 2004 data) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (for 1961 data).

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Copyright 2005 Brandt Maxwell.