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.)
1. South Korea
2004 PER CAPITA GDP EXPRESSED
AS A MULTIPLE OF 1961 PER CAPITA GDP
Purchasing power parity used for 2004 data. Statistics for a few
countries, mostly small, though also including Saudi Arabia, were
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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