What Are Some of the Highest and Lowest Ranking Economies in the World?


Quick Answer

The highest ranking economies as of 2015 include those of Switzerland, Singapore, the United States and the Netherlands. The lowest ranking economies include those of the Central Africa Republic, Eritrea, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Full Answer

Criteria for ranking economies include ease of doing business, gross domestic product per capita, purchasing power parity, competitiveness and economic growth. When ranking the ease of doing business, a high rank shows a conducive environment to starting and operating businesses. The criteria examine the regulation in areas such as access to electricity, property registration, taxes, cross-border trade and protection of minority investors.

Purchasing power parity is a more reliable measure than GDP per capita when comparing economic strength and living conditions between countries. PPP incorporates the relative cost of living and inflation rates between the countries.

The competitiveness of an economy is a set of factors, policies and institutions that determine a country's productivity level. Highly competitive economies also have high GDP and GDP per capita. As of 2015, the most competitive countries, including the United States, Singapore and Switzerland, have some of the highest GDP per capita at above $50,000.

Geographical location may influence the performance of an economy. Most of the high performers are in northern Europe, whereas the poor ones are in Africa or South America. Economies in the same region have access to the same markets and have a shared culture and history.

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