What are the 10 richest countries in Africa?

Discover the countries with the largest GDP in the world according to the IMF. There is a change in the ranking.

Twice a year, the IMF disseminates a very large amount of data on the economic strength of countries around the world, including gross domestic product (GDP). It determines the economic activity of a country, its variation is its rate of growth.

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15. Indonesia: 1.170 billion dollars

© Unsplash With 270 million inhabitants, Indonesia entered the top 15 in 2020. The inflation rate has stabilized after reaching 58% in the second half of the 1990s. Indonesia is a market economy in which the government intervenes widely. The government controls several commodities such as oil, rice and electricity. China is its first trading partner. Its agricultural surface and its Tourism are part of its strengths.

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14. Brazil: 1.430 billion

A supporter of President Bolsonaro shows his support for Brazil. (EFE/Joedson Alves) After remarkable growth that saw the country integrate into the category of emerging countries (BRICS), the country’s economy is at half-mast. The economic crisis of the 2010s hit him heavily, resulting in soft growth, rising unemployment and numerous protests. Brazil is the most unequal country in Latin America after Honduras and Colombia. Corruption is permanent, and Bolsonaro’s appointment as president exacerbates tensions a little further.

13. Spain: 1.450 billion

Barcelona beach (Isopix) Spain is the fifth largest economy in the European Union. It is slowly recovering from the 2008 crisis which brought the unemployment rate up to 26.3% (2013) and plunged the country into recession. One point in particular to crystallize the problems: this is the Spanish real estate bubble. The one that allowed Spain to boom in the early 2000s before exploding. Prices had peaked.

The Spanish economy is now getting better and the unemployment rate has dropped to 15.9%. However, this remains a problem when you know that the European average is 7.1%. In addition, many graduates decided to leave the country during the crisis and its population is aging.

12. Australia: 1.480 billion

© iStock Australia has everything from a modern Western economy. The island mainland offers one of the highest standard of living on the planet. The economic crisis of 2008 had little impact on it. Its wealth, Australia produces it mainly in two ways different: with its services and natural resources (agriculture and minerals). A free trade agreement, like CETA, is currently being discussed in the European institutions.

11. Russia: 1.580 billion

EPA-EFE/PAVEL GOLOVKIN/POOL After a difficult reconstruction following the fall of the USSR, Russia experienced significant growth mainly thanks to its natural resources (oil and natural gas). The state continues to play a major role in the economy through a few oligarchs. But two factors hamper its growth: corruption and the ageing of its population.

10. South Korea: 1.670 billion

Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Pictures/Sipa USA South Korea is one of four Asian dragons (Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan). The country experienced exceptional economic growth while its GDP was close of an African country in the 1960s. South Korea’s economy is organized around its three major industries: electronics, automotive and steel.

9. Canada: 1.760 billion

© iStock The Canadian economy is strongly interwoven with the U.S. economy. In this regard, Donald Trump’s recent sanctions against his neighbour are a real concern. Canada has significant natural resources (wood, oil and ore), a highly trained labour force and powerful banks.

8. Italy: 2.110 billion

© iStock Despite its large debt, Italy is one of the world’s leading economies. The problem is that it’s cut in half. The north of the country (Milan, Turin) is very developed, while the south lives mainly from tourism. The unemployment rate remains high such as corruption. Since the crisis, Italy has embarked on several drastic reforms combining austerity and attempts to reduce its deficit. These measures led to a rejection of politics, which is characterized today by the rise to power of extremes (The Northern League and the 5-Star Movement).

7. India: 2.830 billion

A crowded Indian train, in 2013. — EPA The population of India is huge. Its GDP is therefore large but still well below China or the United States. After strong growth of 8% on average between 2002 and 2012, the global economic crisis caused damage. 630 million Indians are still affected by poverty (according to UNDP). The service sector is still driving growth. Its great challenge is the development of the agricultural sector. One third of children suffer from malnutrition.

6. United Kingdom: 2.860 billions

© iStock The United Kingdom was at the most difficult in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Margaret Thatcher’s strict liberal reforms put the country back on track, not without causing some turmoil. The UK’s economy is characterized by its strong banks and its financial centre (the City). But income inequality is greater than in the rest of the European Union. A union that the country has decided to leave following the decision of a Brexit referendum.

Today, the British economy is in doubt, but does not collapse.

5. France: 2.920 billion

Paris, Francia Like all Western economies, France focuses on the services sector. Its structural reforms have often had little effect. Like others, the French economy embedded in the European and global market has suffered the damage of the crisis, but did not collapse. France is experiencing weak but stable growth. The country is also characterized by a very rich population: there are no less than 579,000 millionaires in France.

4. Germany: 4.320 billion

isopix The German economy is by far the most powerful in Europe. It is the third largest exporter after the United States and China, with its trade balance being largely in surplus. Germany is of course the automotive industry, but also a skilled labour force and unions involved in their industry on the co-management model.

In crisis after reunification (1989), the reforms of the Socialist Gerhard Schröder have allowed the German economy to regain competitiveness. The German model is today boasted in all Europe, but also annoys. In this regard, the US sanctions against the import of steel and aluminum are directly targeted at the German economy.

3. Japan: 5.100 billion

(Pixabay) Japan has the largest public debt in the world. But don’t panic, it’s mostly owned by the Japanese. With 126 million inhabitants, Japan is the 4th largest export country in the world. The unemployment rate is the lowest among the G20 countries.

However, the country was hit hard by the 2008 crisis and the Fukushima nuclear accident (2011) contributed to increased imports. China took the opportunity to overtake Japan in the ranking.

2. China: 14.490 billion

Chuzhou City, China. — Imaginechina via AP Images) With a labour force of 800 million people, China is a real machine of economic war. Agriculture accounts for only 10% of GDP, industry has taken its place causing a significant trade surplus. China therefore benefits from foreign exchange reserves of $3.820 billion (2014). China thus allows itself to redeem the debt of its competitors, gradually installing its future domination. Chinese finance is very powerful, but remains upset by so-called shadow banking, an uncontrolled finance that exceeds $4.800 billion (2014).

China has the peculiarity of having fully integrated into the global economic system while preserving a strong state, which keeps control of its economy. The problem remains inequalities, mainly between cities (east) and rural (west).

1. United States: 21.920 billion

AP The United States retains its first place, but for how long? China heels them more and more, and it seems certain that things will change in the next few years. But the US remains powerful. First thanks to the dollar, the benchmark currency at the global level, but also thanks to its raw materials and its quasi-monopoly (Western) on new technologies with its big five GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, complemented by NATU (Netflix, Airbnb, Tesla and Uber).

However, poverty affects 50 million Americans and that the country is not immune from the explosion of an economic bubble like the Internet bubble (2001) and the real estate bubble (2008). In 2008, the US government allocated $900 billion in various loans and rescues. For the moment, the Covid-19 crisis has not upset this ranking. It must be said that in a globalized economy, pandemic affects everyone even though there are, of course, differences. But not enough to train in the top 15 of the ranking.

To discover the rest of the ranking, it’s here.


The IMF also ranks countries around the world according to their GDP on the basis of per capita purchasing power parity (PPP). The PPP has this peculiarity that it takes into account the relative cost of living and inflation rates of countries to compare different living standards. This makes it possible to sort of reclassify small countries. You can find the ranking here.

To go further:

  • Here are the 17 most indebted countries in the world
  • Here are the 10 poorest countries in the world

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