World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

Commonwealth Growth Tracker

The Commonwealth overtakes Eurozone share of world output

James Waterson - October 2013

Speed Read
  • The Commonwealth of Nations is growing rapidly in comparison to the ailing Eurozone
  • Measured by share of world GDP, the Commonwealth overtook the (1973) European Union in 2009
  • By the same measure, the current Eurozone is only marginally larger than the Commonwealth.

Real GDP Growth 1960 – 2013 (year on year % change)
Economic growth in the Commonwealth has accelerated over the post 1973 period in sharp contrast to the EU, where the growth rate has been falling gently from 5% or more in the late 1970’s to only 1-2% in recent years.

Looking at the EU, Eurozone, and Commonwealth from a market share of world GDP viewpoint, a similar pattern is evident. Charts 3 and 4 show the EU and Eurozone compared with Commonwealth share of world real GDP.

Commonwealth and Europe share of world real GDP (PPP, Billion $) 1970 – 2013

Future population growth

Finally, the chart below shows population projections for the Eurozone compared with the Commonwealth for the next 40 years. As can be seen, population growth in the Commonwealth alone is expected to be over twice as big as the entire static Eurozone population by 2050

  • The Eurozone is defined as full members in 2013: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Estonia.
  • The EU is defined as full members of the EU in 1973: Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, West Germany and France (UK omitted).
  • The Commonwealth is defined in both charts as all members minus the UK. Due to difficulty in obtaining GDP data for certain smaller countries (Kiribati, Nauru, Bahamas, St Vincent, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu) – these have been purposely omitted from the Commonwealth calculations. These are estimated to account for under 1% of Commonwealth GDP.
  • New members who have joined & left the Commonwealth since 1973 account for less than 1% of its total GDP In both charts the EU/EZ start with a much larger share, but this advantage is shown to have steadily diminished over time, actually reversing in the original EU area, and clearly about to reverse using the Eurozone definition.
Note: GDP calculations are based on real PPP GDP data from Penn, World Bank and the IMF. For more information please consult the World Economics Global Growth Monitor.

The Commonwealth Growth Monitor: Note to Users
Use of these data should be made in the recognition that World Economics shall not have any liability for these data or bear any responsibility for any actions taken based on these data, and in no event shall be liable for damages of any sort arising from use of these data. 

Please note that GDP growth estimates are subject to change & World Economics will update the monitor on a regular basis as further data becomes available.

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World Economics
642 days ago
Thank you Charles for your note, we have updated the charts and revised the definitions.

645 days ago
Please correct the definitions and titles for charts 3 & 4.  Chart 4 appears to show EU v Commonwealth and Chart 3 appears to show  EZ v  Commonwealth. In the definitions for charts 3 & 4, Germany is missing from the list of EU members.

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