This article discusses the top economies in the world based on the nominal gross domestic product (GDP). The countries featured here control the bulk of the world’s wealth. The nominal GDP of the top 10 economies account for about 66% of the world’s economy. This underscores the economic strength of these countries. Unsurprisingly, the United States leads the way with China coming a distant second. Japan rounds up the top 3. European powerhouses, Germany, United Kingdom and France also feature on the list.

These top economies are discussed fully below.

  1. United States

Nominal GDP: $22.321 Trillion

The United States of America has the highest nominal GDP of any country in the world. It leads the way and by some mile with a gap of about $7 trillion between them and second-placed China. Since 1871, the U.S has been the largest economy in the world, a position it doesn’t seem to relinquish anytime soon. The gap between the nominal GDP of the U.S and China is expected to get closer over the coming years. However, the position of the U.S as the world’s largest economy isn’t under threat, at least not yet.

The U.S remains an economic superpower accounting for almost 25% of the global economy. The economy of the U.S is backed by advanced technology and infrastructure, and an abundance of natural resources. The U.S is the largest importer of goods while the country also ranks as the second-largest exporter. Its top trading partners are neighbouring Canada, Mexico, arch-rival China, Japan, and European giant Germany.

In terms of nominal GDP per capita, the size of the country’s population places it in 7th position. The U.S currently has a nominal GDP per capita of $67,426.

  • China

Nominal GDP: $15.269 TrillionIn terms of PPP based GDP, China leads the way but for nominal GDP, it loses the top spot to its arch-rival, the United States. The Chinese economy is backed by strong manufacturing industry. A lot of companies prefer to manufacture in China. China to some is the manufacturing headquarters of the world.

At a time, the Chinese economy was experiencing an average 10% growth rate per annum. This has slowed recently down recently. However, the growth rate of the Chinese economy remains high when compared to that of countries of similar stature. The Chinese economy is expected to grow by 5.8% in 2020. While manufacturing remains the mainstay of the Chinese economy, its contributions to the country’s GDP is on the decline. The service sector is on the rise in China with its contributions to the country’s GDP on the rise.


The enormous size of China’s population brings the country’s nominal GDP per capita down to $10,872. In terms of nominal GDP per capita, China ranks 67th in the world.

  • Japan

Nominal GDP: $5.413 Trillion

The economy of Japan is not as strong as it used to be owing to the 2008 financial crises that triggered a recession in the country. Still, the country has the 3rd highest nominal GDP in the world. Huge public debt (the largest of any country), and a weak domestic demand helped to worsen the country’s economic situation after the recession. There are have signs of economic recovery in Japan although a massive earthquake that hit the country stalled the process. The earthquake impacted the country socially and economically.

The industrial sector accounts for 27.5% of Japans GDP. The country has the 3rd highest manufacturing output. The country is home to the world’s largest automobile company, Toyota. The service sector of Japan accounts for about ¾ of the country’s total economic output. Japan’s nominal GDP per capita is $43,043 ranking it the 22nd country in the world in that regard.

  • Germany

Nominal GDP: 3.863 Trillion

Germany boasts of Europe’s largest economy. Germany has a social market economy that is largely dependent on capital goods export. The country is the third-largest exporter of goods. The nation’s workforce is highly skilled. Low-level of corruption also help the nation’s economy to thrive.

The service sector contributes as high as 69% of Germany’s GDP while Industry contributes roughly 31%. The country’s current unemployment rate of 3.2% is the 4th lowest in the European Union. Recently, Germany launched Industrie 4.0 which is a strategic initiative to help strengthen the country’s manufacturing industry. It is believed that the strategic initiative will help position the country as a manufacturing hub lead, providing advanced manufacturing solutions. The nominal GDP per capita of Germany currently is $52,559.

  • India

Nominal GDP: $3.202 Trillion

The Indian economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world currently. The Asian nation rounds up the top 5 on this list of top 10 economies in the world. India’s over 500 million workforce is the 2nd largest in the world. About 28% of this number is employed in the service sector. This shows the importance of the service sector to the nation’s economy.

The service sector of India is the fastest-growing sector in the world and accounts for over 60% of India’s GDP. Other sectors that are crucial to India’s economy are the industrial and agricultural sectors. India’s agricultural sector contributes about 17% of its GDP which is much higher than those of western nations. India’s strong economy is supported by strong government policies and a rising middle class.


India’s huge population, currently the 2nd highest in the world brings the country’s nominal per capita GDP down to $2,338. The country ranks 139th in the world based on nominal per capita GDP.

  • United Kingdom

Nominal GDP: $2.83 Trillion

The economy of the U.K is the 2nd largest in all of Europe, behind only that of Germany. Globally, the U.K’s economy used to be the 5th largest but the fast-growing Indian economy has leapfrogged it into 5th place.

The U.K runs a partially regulated economy that is primarily hinged on the service sector. The sector accounts for about 75% of the U.K’s GDP. Apart from service, manufacturing is also crucial to the U.K’s economy. Agriculture to a limited extent also contributes to the country’s GDP as over 60% of its food needs are met locally.

In terms of nominal GDP per capita, the U.K ranks 20th in the world. The country has a nominal per capita GDP of $41,030.

  • France

Nominal GDP: $2.707 Trillion

Closely following the U.K in 7th place is France. The French economy is the 3rd largest in Europe and the 7th largest globally. It dropped from 6th place as a result of the fast growth of the Indian economy which moved from 7th to 5th. France runs a mixed economy as there are privately owned as well as government-owned enterprises in the country.

Tourism is very key to the French economy as France remains the most visited country in the world. Agriculture is also important to the economy of France. France is an agricultural nation, with about 1/3 of all agricultural land within the EU being French land. The country is the 6th largest agricultural producer and the 2nd largest exporter of agricultural produce in the world. Services and manufacturing sectors also make significant contributions to the French economy.

The nominal per capita GDP of France is $41,761 which is the 22nd highest in the world. The country’s economic growth has slowed in recent years leading to a high rate of unemployment.

  • Italy

Nominal GDP: $1.989 Trillion

Italy ranks 8th on this list of top 10 economies in the world. The country has a mixed capitalist economy and is highly developed. Recent political and economic crises have slowed down the growth of the country’s economy. Unemployment in Italy remains in double-digits as public debts also remain high.

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Exports and business investment are driving the country’s economic resurgence which led to a 1% growth recorded in 2019. Manufacturing is important to the country’s economy. Italy ranks 6th in the world in terms of manufacturing. Agriculture is also key to the economy of Italy. The country is the world’s largest wine producer and is also a leader in the production of several agricultural produce.

Italy is a popular tourist destination and is ranked as the 5th most visited country in the world. Its rich cultural history is largely responsible for this. Italy has 55 World Heritage Sites, the largest of any country. Italian fashion, food, and automobile industries are all remarkable. 

The country’s nominal per capita GDP is $32,947, the 25th highest in the world.

  • Brazil

Nominal GDP: $1.893 Trillion

The top economy in South America is the Brazilian economy which ranks 9th globally. The Brazilian economy is mixed. Brazil is blessed with abundant natural resources which have helped the country’s growth. The economy of Brazil is diversified with several sectors contributing to it. Important sectors include agriculture, services, and industry.

The mining industry is also important to Brazil’s economy as the country is an important producer of many minerals. Brazil is one of the top producers of gold, bauxite, copper, amethyst, topaz, agate, tourmaline, emerald, aquamarine and so on. Brazil has a nominal per capita GDP of $ 8,955 which is only the 73rd highest in the world.

  1. Canada

Nominal GDP: $1.812 Trillion

Canada is a highly developed nation with a mixed economy. It is one of the world’s top trading nations. The country’s service and manufacturing sectors are important to its GDP. Canada’s economy is dominated by the service sector which currently employs about 2/3 of its workforce. Manufacturing on the other hand is crucial to the country’s future economic growth.

Canada’s agricultural sector is also big as the country is one of the world’s largest supplier of agricultural products. Canada’s nominal per capita GDP is $47,931. It is the 17th highest in the world.

Conclusion (Top 10 Economies In The World)

The countries featured here account for the majority of the world’s wealth. They are advanced nations with huge economic strength. The United States alone accounts for about a quarter of the world’s economy. China, the arch-rival of the U.S boasts of a similarly huge economy as well.

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