List of regions by past GDP (PPP) per capita

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For estimations of total GDP in history, see List of regions by past GDP (PPP).

These are lists of regions and countries by their estimated real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), the value of all final goods and services produced within a country/region in a given year divided by population size. GDP per capita dollar (international dollar) estimates here are derived from PPP estimates.

Characteristics[edit]

In the absence of sufficient data for nearly all economies until well into the 19th century, past GDP per capita cannot be calculated, but only roughly estimated. A key notion in the whole process is that of subsistence, the income level which is necessary for sustaining one's life. Since pre-modern societies, by modern standards, were characterized by a very low degree of urbanization and a large majority of people working in the agricultural sector, economic historians prefer to express income in cereal units. To achieve comparability over space and time, these numbers are then converted into monetary units such as International Dollars, a step which leaves a relatively wide margin of interpretation.

World 1–2003 (Maddison)[edit]

The following estimates are taken exclusively from the 2007 monograph Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD by the British economist Angus Maddison.[1] For his separate estimate of Roman GDP (PPP) per capita and that of other authors, see below. note:“Western Offshoots” consist of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

GDP (PPP) per capita in 1990 International Dollars
Country / Region 1 1000 1500 1600 1700 1820 1870 1913 1950 1973 2003
Austria 425 425 707 837 993 1,218 1,863 3,465 3,706 11,235 21,231
Belgium 450 425 875 976 1,144 1,319 2,692 4,220 5,462 12,170 21,205
Denmark 400 400 738 875 1,039 1,274 2,003 3,912 6,943 13,945 23,133
Finland 400 400 453 538 638 781 1,140 2,111 4,253 11,085 20,513
France 473 425 727 841 910 1,135 1,876 3,485 5,271 13,114 21,861
Germany 408 410 688 791 910 1,077 1,839 3,648 3,881 11,966 19,144
Italy 809 450 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,117 1,499 2,564 3,502 10,634 19,151
Netherlands 425 425 761 1,381 2,130 1,838 2,757 4,049 5,996 13,082 21,480
Norway 400 400 610 664 723 801 1,360 2,447 5,430 11,323 26,035
Sweden 400 400 695 824 977 1,198 1,662 3,096 6,739 13,493 21,555
Switzerland 425 410 632 750 890 1,090 2,102 4,266 9,064 18,204 22,243
UK 400 400 714 974 1,250 1,706 3,190 4,921 6,939 12,025 21,310
12 country average 599 425 798 907 1,032 1,243 2,087 3,688 5,018 12,157 20,597
Portugal 450 425 606 740 819 923 975 1,250 2,086 7,063 13,807
Spain 498 450 661 853 853 1,008 1,207 2,056 2,189 7,661 17,021
Other 539 400 472 525 584 711 1,027 1,840 2,538 7,614 17,351
West European average 576 427 771 889 997 1,202 1,960 3,457 4,578 11,417 19,912
Eastern Europe 412 400 496 548 606 683 937 1,695 2,111 4,988 6,476
Former USSR 400 400 499 552 610 688 943 1,488 2,841 6,059 5,397
USA 400 400 400 400 527 1,257 2,445 5,301 9,561 16,689 29,037
Other Western offshoots 400 400 400 400 408 761 2,244 4,752 7,425 13,399 22,853
Average Western offshoots 400 400 400 400 476 1,202 2,419 5,233 9,268 16,179 28,039
Mexico 400 400 425 454 568 759 674 1,732 2,365 4,853 7,137
Other Latin America 400 400 410 431 502 661 677 1,438 2,531 4,435 5,465
Latin American average 400 400 416 438 527 691 676 1,493 2,503 4,513 5,786
Japan 400 425 500 520 570 669 737 1,387 1,921 11,434 21,218
China 450 450 600 600 600 600 530 552 448 838 4,803
India 450 450 550 550 550 533 533 673 619 853 2,160
Other east Asia 425 425 554 564 561 568 594 842 771 1,485 3,854
West Asia 522 621 590 591 591 607 742 1,042 1,776 4,854 5,899
Asian average (excl. Japan) 457 466 572 576 572 577 548 658 639 1,225 3,842
Africa 472 425 414 422 421 420 500 637 890 1,410 1,549
World 467 450 566 596 616 667 873 1,526 2,113 4,091 6,516
Country / Region 1 1000 1500 1600 1700 1820 1870 1913 1950 1973 2003

Europe[edit]

Europe 1830–1938 (Bairoch)[edit]

The following estimates were made by the economic historian Paul Bairoch.[2] Unlike other estimates on this page, the GNP (PPP) per capita is given here in 1960 US dollars. Unlike Maddison, Bairoch allows for the fluctuation of borders, basing his estimates mostly on the historical boundaries at the given points in time.[3]

GNP (PPP) per capita in 1960 US dollars
Country / Region 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1913 1925 1938
Austria - - - - - - - - - - 655 640
Austria-Hungary 250 266 283 288 305 315 361 414 469 498 - -
Baltic countries - - - - - - - - - - 443 501
Belgium 295 345 411 490 571 589 630 721 854 894 985 1,015
Bulgaria - - - 210 220 210 250 260 270 263 304 420
Czechoslovakia - - - - - - - - - - 504 548
Denmark 208 225 256 294 340 396 502 633 739 862 845 1,045
Finland 188 205 227 241 313 327 368 425 451 520 578 913
France 264 302 333 365 437 464 515 604 680 689 893 936
Germany 245 267 308 354 426 443 537 639 705 743 712 1,126
Greece - 200 215 230 250 260 290 300 325 322 393 590
Hungary - - - - - - - - - - 365 451
Ireland - - - - - - - - - - 624 649
Italy 265 270 277 301 312 311 311 335 366 441 480 551
Netherlands 347 382 427 452 506 542 586 614 705 754 909 920
Norway 280 305 350 401 421 464 523 577 673 749 863 1,298
Poland - - - - - - - - - - 245 372
Portugal 250 255 260 275 270 270 270 287 290 292 320 351
Romania - - 190 200 210 230 246 275 307 336 316 343
Russia/USSR 170 170 175 178 250 224 182 248 287 326 232 458
Serbia - - - 220 230 240 250 260 282 284 - -
Spain 263 288 313 346 329 323 321 351 370 367 426 337
Sweden 194 198 211 225 246 303 356 454 593 680 765 1,097
Switzerland 276 315 391 480 549 676 705 785 895 964 1,020 1,204
United Kingdom 346 394 458 558 628 680 785 881 904 965 970 1,181
Yugoslavia - - - - - - - - - - 302 339
Europe 240 260 283 310 359 366 388 455 499 534 515 671
Western Europe[3] 276 - - 384 - - - 583 - 678 710 839
Eastern Europe[3] 190 - - 214 - - - 314 - 389 315 509
Country / Region 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1913 1925 1938

note: “Western Offshoots” consist of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Western Europe 1–1870 (Lo Cascio/Malanima)[edit]

The following estimates are taken from a revision of Angus Maddison's numbers for Western Europe by the Italian economists Elio Lo Cascio and Paolo Malanima.[4] According to their calculations, the basic level of European GDP (PPP) per capita was historically higher, but its increase was less pronounced.

GDP (PPP) per capita in 1990 International Dollars
Authors 1 1000 1500 1600 1700 1820 1870
Lo Cascio/Malanima 1,000 900 1,350 1,250 1,400 1,350 1,960
Maddison 576 427 771 889 997 1,202 1,960

Europe 2000 BC - 1800 AD[edit]

The estimate of GDP per capita by regions over the last four millennia was received as a result of the analysis of museum collections of weapon and various objects, performed by the scholars from Moscow Financial University. According to their results GDP per capita in Europe from the 2nd millennium BC till the beginning of the 19th century ranged between USD 0.7 – 1.7 thousand a year (in the prices of 2005).[5]

Roman and Byzantine Empires[edit]

Much of the recent work in estimating past GDP per capita has been done in the study of the Roman economy, following the pioneering studies by Keith Hopkins (1980) and Raymond Goldsmith (1984).[6] The estimates by Peter Temin, Angus Maddison, Branko Milanovic and Peter Fibiger Bang follow the basic method established by Goldsmith, varying mainly only in their set of initial numbers; these are then stepped up to estimations of the expenditure checked by those on the income side. Walter Scheidel/Steven Friesen determine GDP per capita on the relationship between certain significant economic indicators which were historically found to be plausible; two independent control assumptions provide the upper and lower limit of the probable size of the Roman GDP per capita.[7]

Estimates of Roman GDP (PPP) per capita
Unit Goldsmith
1984[8]
Hopkins
1995/96[9]
Temin
2006[10]
Maddison
2007[11]
Milanovic
2007[12]
Bang
2008[13]
Scheidel/Friesen
2009[14]
Lo Cascio/Malanima
2009[15]
Approx. year 14 AD 14 AD 100 AD 14 AD 14 AD 14 AD 150 AD 150 AD
GDP (PPP) per capita in Sesterces HS 380 HS 225 HS 166 HS 380 HS 380 HS 229 HS 260 HS 380
Wheat equivalent 843 kg 491 kg 614 kg 843 kg 500 kg 680 kg 855 kg
1990 International Dollars $570 $633 $620 $940

Italia is considered the richest region, due to tax transfers from the provinces and the concentration of elite income in the heartland; its GDP per capita is estimated at having been around 40%[15] to 66%[16] higher than in the rest of the empire.

The GDP per capita of the Byzantine Empire, the continuation of the Roman Empire in the east, has been estimated by the World Bank economist Branko Milanovic to range between $680 and 770 (in 1990 International Dollars) at its peak around 1000 AD, the reign of Basil II.[17] This is 1.7 times the subsistence level as compared to the slightly higher value of 2.1 for the Roman Empire under Augustus (30 BC–14 AD).[18]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Maddison 2007, p. 382, table A.7.
  2. ^ Bairoch 1976, pp. 286, table 6; 297, table 12; 301, table 14
  3. ^ a b c The border between "Western Europe" and "Eastern Europe" as defined by Bairoch corresponds to the iron curtain, with "Eastern Europe" being identical to the Eastern Bloc (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Romania, Poland, and the USSR plus Albania). All the rest of Europe makes up "Western Europe" (Bairoch 1976, pp. 317, 319).
  4. ^ Lo Cascio, Malanima Dec. 2009, p. 411, table 6
  5. ^ Zoubets A. Quantitative Evaluations in History (instruments of cliometrics). Moscow Financial University, 2014
  6. ^ Scheidel, Walter; Morris, Ian; Saller, Richard, eds. (2007): The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-78053-7
  7. ^ Scheidel, Friesen Nov. 2009, pp. 63–72
  8. ^ Goldsmith 1984, pp. 263–288
  9. ^ Hopkins 1995/96, pp. 41–75. His estimates are upward revisions from Hopkins 1980, pp. 101–125, where he lays out his basic method.
  10. ^ Temin 2006, pp. 31–54
  11. ^ Maddison 2007, pp. 43–47; 50, table 1.10; 54, table 1.12
  12. ^ Milanovic, Lindert, Williamson Oct. 2007, pp. 58–66
  13. ^ Bang 2008, pp. 86–91
  14. ^ Scheidel, Friesen Nov. 2009, pp. 61–91
  15. ^ a b Lo Cascio, Malanima Dec. 2009, pp. 391–401
  16. ^ Maddison 2007, pp. 47–51
  17. ^ Milanovic 2006, p. 468
  18. ^ Milanovic 2006, p. 459. This latter value also forms the basis for the only superficially lower $633 given by Milanovic et al. 2007 in the table above. The difference in the Roman and Byzantine GDP (PPP) per capita is due to the authors operating with differing conversion rates for the subsistence level: $300 in the Roman case (2.1 x $300 = ~$633), $400 in the Byzantine one (1.7 x $400 = $680). This means that Roman GDP (PPP) per capita was around 20% higher than the Byzantine one.

Bibliography[edit]

GDP per capita of the Roman Empire
GDP per capita of the Byzantine Empire
  • Milanovic, Branko (2006): "An Estimate of Average Income and Inequality in Byzantium around Year 1000", Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 449–470
European GDP per capita
  • Bairoch, Paul (1976): "Europe's Gross National Product: 1800–1975", Journal of European Economic History, Vol. 5, pp. 273–340
Angus Maddison — reviews and revisions
  • Maddison, Angus (2006): The World Economy. A Millennial Perspective (Vol. 1). Historical Statistics (Vol. 2), OECD, ISBN 92-64-02261-9
  • Maddison, Angus (2007): "Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD. Essays in Macro-Economic History", Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922721-1, p. 382, table A.7.
  • Federico, Giovanni (2002): "The World Economy 0–2000 AD: A Review Article", European Review of Economic History, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 111–120 — review
  • Lo Cascio, Elio; Malanima, Paolo (Dec. 2009): "GDP in Pre-Modern Agrarian Economies (1–1820 AD). A Revision of the Estimates", Rivista di storia economica, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 391–420 — critique of Maddison's estimates

External links[edit]