Five American Cities Outshine All African GDPs


NEW YORK CITY – GDP is an acronym that stands for gross domestic product. Put simply, it is a measure of all the goods and services produced in a country or area, during a given period of time. The GDP is also thought of as a determinant of the “size” of an economy. It is a primary economic indicator used to gauge the success of a country’s economy. A positive increase in GDP often correlates positively with improvement in a country’s employment rates, company profits, and so forth.

Economically speaking, five U.S. cities outshine all African GDPs. The five American metropolitan areas that have GDP greater than any African country are:

(2011 figures, USD$)
1. New York City – $1,288 billion
2. Los Angeles – $755 billion
3. Chicago – $547 billion
4. Washington D.C. – $434 billion
5. Houston – $420 billion

The top producing African country is South Africa, which has a GDP of $409 billion (USD). Liberia has the lowest GDP in Africa at only $1billion (USD). Djibouti has the lowest productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa with a GDP of only $1.2 billion (USD).

Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 37 of them belong to metropolitan areas of the United States. The 20 largest-producing American cities each individually gross more than the individual economies of Vietnam, Morocco, Bangladesh, Slovakia, and Croatia. All together, these 20 American metros have a greater total product than 148 other countries combined. The total GDP of American metro economies ($13 trillion) is equal to 24% of production of the largest 200 countries (excluding the US), and is greater than the combined product of 178 of those countries.

Although a GDP can be a good indicator of a country’s economic and industrial ability, it is not always the most accurate portrayal of their economies’ health. Not all productive activity may be included in their GDP. For example, informal work is difficult to document – like the profits a farmer gains when selling produce in the local market. Nor is the untaxed income of many small business entrepreneurs. According to the International Monetary Fund, GDP growth rate for the majority of Sub-Saharan Africa is forecasted to increase at least 6% heading into 2014. Even at this conservative rate, it far outdoes the 1-2% expected growth rate of the United States.

Six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries have been in the African continent over the past decade. This is due in large part to 75% of the sub-Saharan population being under the age of 30–a young, energetic, entrepreneurial population that holds tremendous potential as consumers and manufacturers. Consumer expenses in Africa are expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2020, $520 billion more than in 2008. Africa’s promising growth rates may play a role in improving health in the future.

– Maria Caluag

Sources: IMF, IHS
Photo: HD Wall Paper


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