(Detailed PDF Map)
Source: UNEP (2012): The UNEP Environmental Data Explorer, as compiled from World Development Indicators (WDI-The World Bank). United Nations Environment Programme.
Global Gross Domestic Product and Human Development Index, 2010
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total output of goods and services for final use produced by an economy, by both residents and non-residents. It is equal to consumption plus gross capital formation plus exports, less imports and includes subsistence products produced by households for their own use, valued at current local prices for comparable commodities. The GDP is often divided by the population to express the standard of living since it is a rough approximation of the amount of wealth per person (there are issues of wealth distribution that are not well reflected in GDP per capita figures). The World Bank often uses GDP per capita to classify the level of economic development of nations. The wealthiest nations account for the largest markets in the world. The GDP is thus a reasonable approximation of the size of a market, but not necessarily of the standards of living (or quality of life). For instance, China has a much higher GDP than Korea, implying that China is a bigger market, but Korea is a more sophisticated economy with higher standards of living. The global generation of wealth remains highly concentrated. The four largest economies, the United States, Japan, China and Germany, alone accounted for more 38% of the world's GDP in 2008. Thus, nine countries (G8 + China) generated more than half the global economic activity. Still, the dynamism is shifting with China overtaking Japan to become the world's second largest economy in 2010. Countries such as Brazil and India have also experienced a remarkable growth.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite measure ranging from 0 to 1 that includes life expectancy, education (literacy rate) and standards of living (GDP per capita). It is more representative of the commercial potential with countries with a HDI above 0.8 accounting for the world's main markets. This commercial potential and dynamism shapes global transactions and flows.