(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
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
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.