Why does India have such a poor per capita GDP, which is even below some African countries? Why is PM of India thum his chest when India has a very poor rank of 142 out of 194 world economies based on per capita GDP?




Prashant Singh

Passionate about Economics and Politics Author has 128 answers and 69K answer viewsSep 13

The formula of GDP per capita is GDP/population, due to high population our GDP per capita is low that doesn’t mean that living standards are low compared to African countries, in fact our living standards are much better than countries like Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, Pakistan and almost all African and Latin American countries. So don’t go by rankings , prosperity of a country is dependent on the strength of its currency today 1 USD is equivalent to Rs 80 which is better than many African, Latin American and South Asian countries



Anil Garg

Author has 7.6K answers and 383.2K answer viewsSep 15

Per capita gross domestic product measures a country's economic output per person and is calculated by dividing the GDP of a country by its population.

It is a global measure for gauging the prosperity of nations and is used by economists, along with GDP, to analyze the prosperity of a country based on its economic growth.



Analyzing global per capita GDP provides insight into global economic prosperity and developments.

Small, rich countries and more developed industrial countries tend to have the highest per capita GDP.





Bala Senthil Kumar

As requiredUpvoted by

Narasimha Swamy, MA Economics & Post Graduate, Berhampur University (1980)Author has 12K answers and 50.8M answer viewsSep 10

Do you see people rushing to those African countries, lining up to settle there?

Why not?

Because GDP and per capita GDP are numbers. Important numbers, but still, only numbers.

What you can buy for one dollar in one country is vastly different from what you can buy in another.

In any case, the rank in the question is wrong.






Elephant moves slowly, and quietly. But it is not easy to stop when it is moving.

That said, India has a legacy population of poor people. Shrinking, but the legacy isn’t over yet. India once had more poor people than the whole of Sub Saharan Africa. But then, India isn’t struggling for survival. India also has a robust public distribution system that provides free or affordable foodgrains to its population (this is not counted as income).



Despite many lacunae in its public health system, most Indians do have access to free or affordable doctor visits and hospital time. In some states, the government hospitals are very good. Same with education.

So, how much money one needs to get by in India is a huge variable, and one that cannot be addressed by numbers that are applied across the board for comparison





Pachu Dada Kumar 

Author has 1.3K answers and 132K answer viewsSep 11

Because of the huge Population, I mean largest among the de ocratic Countries. That's why howsoever big the GDP grows the same stands to a very low figure after dividing with a huge population of India. Moreover for the last few years things are going bad in economic terms so Indian GDP per capita may looks in such a poor form .

因为人口众多,我指的是印度的人口是民 主国家中最多的。所以无论印度的GDP增长多少,与庞大的印度人口相除后,只能得到一个非常低的数字。另外,过去的几年中,印度的经济越来越糟,所以印度的人均GDP才会这么难看。



Shyam Sunder Lal 

Author has 2.5K answers and 615.6K answer viewsSep 10

On per capita income India has poor record..

Modi Sarkar believes in big time propaganda and therefore talks high on what it suits for ..

On percapita GDP India is placed below Bangladesh..

Therefore to conclude that Government propaganda has to be taken with salt..







Ankit Nigam

ObserverAuthor has 236 answers and 52.8K answer viewsSep 9

This is absolutely wrong.

This data is fudged.

No one from the analyzing body considered the positivity brought by the central government since 2014.

We are united more than ever and we live in harmony with people from different caste, creed, color, gender and economic background.

We have become a superpower and no one can challenge our supremacy anymore.

INR 1 = 80 USD = 90 EUR = 100 GBP.






1卢比= 80美元= 90欧元= 100英镑。


 Sandeepan Bose 

Author has 12.5K answers and 17.1M answer viewsSep 9


There is nothing to thump your chest about.

But the reason why India has a poor per capita GDP is because of the boon by Annapoorna Ma.

Ma Annapoorna has blessed 3 places on planet earth.



Agriculture in India feeds every one in the country. If these people improve their productivity, it doesn't help them. It would bring down the prices of farm products.

Which means these people need to switch from agriculture sector to services sector or manufacturing sector. But how can they do this without formal education.

China had the same feudal system like India. All kids go through formal education. This is the reason why China could ramp up its manufacturing so fast.






Francis Korkor

Geography/Archaeology M.A in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Geography, KU Leuven (Graduated 1998)Author has 1.1K answers and 3.2M answer viewsUpdated 3y

Why does Africa have a GDP of USD 2 trillion with a population of less than 1.3 billion, which is far ahead of India economically? Has the economic gap between India and Africa become wider?

Originally Answered: Why does Africa have a GDP of USD 3.3 trillion with a population of less than 1.3 billion, which is far ahead of India economically? Has the economic gap between India and Africa become wider?

A lot of people answer questions like this by pointing out the obvious, that because India is a country and Africa is a continent (made up of 54 countries), you can not compare the two regions.

It is not correct to think that the two areas cannot be compared. You can still do a comparison because these two regions of the world have similar statistics.




Some people have answered a similar question elsewhere on quora by saying that half of Africa’s GDP is from only three countries (Nigeria, Egypt and South- Africa), so that makes India economically better of because the GDP of India all belongs to India as one whole country. Nothing can be further from the truth! What these people forget is that just as most GDP and development is concentrated in a few countries in Africa, the same can be said of India, where the GDP and development is concentrated in few cities like (Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi). This situation is found in most countries, even advanced economies like Canada have more than half of GDP derived from few cities in the East and West coast of Canada.


Now let me also state that to a citizen in India or Africa, whether the GDP is for a number of countries within the continent ( as is the case in Africa) or the GDP is for a single government (as is the case in India), it doesn’t matter very much, rather what matters to the average person is the per capita income.


Now let me start by stating that Africa is going to surprise a lot of people in a few years. Currently Africa is being tipped as the global economic growth engine of the coming decades. Its vast natural wealth and favourable demographic profile are expected to turn the continent as a whole into a growth engine that is expected to run faster than any of the world’s current economic powerhouses, including China, Brazil and India.


By doing a good analysis of economic indicators, Africa’s economic situation is very similar to that of India today. No one thinks India is so poor, yet everybody thinks Africa is very poor.


1. Now India’s current population of about 1.33 billion is very comparable to Africa’s current population of 1.25 billion

2. India’s GDP for 2017 was $2.5 trillion

3. Africa’s GDP for 2017 was $2 trillion

4. India’s GDP per capita was $1900

5. Africa’s GDP per capita was $1824

1.  印度目前的人口约为13.3亿,与非洲目前的12.5亿人口不相上下

2.  印度2017年的GDP为2.5万亿美元

3.  非洲2017年的国内生产总值为2万亿美元

4.  印度的人均GDP是1900美元

5.  非洲的人均国内生产总值为1824美元

Adjusted for purchasing power parity (ppp), the two regions might even be equal.

The only significant difference is that India is one country, where as Africa is made up of 54 countries.



Also the many countries in African are growing very fast economically. Things are not static in Africa as the media wants you to believe. The sub-Saharan African region has posted some of the highest growth rates in the world recently. Eg. Ethiopia 8.5%, Côté D’Voire 7.6%, Senegal 6.8%.

This pace of growth will ensure that most African countries will be “middle income” by 2025. The projected GDP of Africa in 2050 is $29 trillion, placing it in the same range as India’s projected 2050 GDP of $33 .



Constantly on the news, I hear the media praising India’s projected GDP for 2050, but they are always quite on Africa’s projected GDP, although both India and Africa will have similar population numbers, similar GDP’s, and similar per capita income by 2050. Africa may even surpass India since Africa’s land size is 9 times that of India (therefore more oil and natural resources in Africa than in India).


Let not lose sight of the fact that, the African continent is 30.37 million km². So therefore Africa is:

Three times (x 3) the size of the USA

Three times (x 3) the size of all Europe (which includes Russia).

Three times (x 3) the size of the China

And Nine times (x 9) the size of India






People who compare such a large continent to small countries like USA/China/India, should know that if Africa were to be only one third of its size, it would had developed just as fast as the other areas.


Also when talking about the contribution of various regions of the world to world development, people erroneously choose recent contributors to development over past contributors. For most part of the time, while the rest of the world was remote and inaccessible, Africans were develo the world's oldest record of human technological achievement: the oldest stone tools in the world have been found in Eastern and Southern Africa. The Africans also learnt to controlled fire, without which no human species would have survived, and then went ahead to populate the rest of Asia and Europe.



Deepak Mehta

Indian by birth.Author has 3.9K answers and 104.9M answer views3y

Why does India not aim for high GDP per capita instead of high GDP?

Why does India not aim for high GDP per capita instead of high GDP?

And how do you propose to do the former without the latter?

The GDP per capita has GDP in the numerator and the population in the denominator. The only way to increase it to either increase the numerator, or decrease the denominator, or if both are increasing, to ensure that the numerator is increasing at a faster pace.

The Indian population growth rate has been, through decades of effort, been curtailed to ~1.1% per annum.





If you want to increase the GDP per capita, you need to ensure that the GDP is increasing at a faster pace than the population.

In the last 50 years, India’s GDP per capita has increased by about 500%. At the same time, the world average has increased by only 120%.




Kanthaswamy Balasubramaniam

In 1990, India's GDP per capita was higher than China. What went wrong with India's economy?

Yes - in the year 1990 - India and China had very similar GDPs - India with 332 Billion USD and China with 375 Billion USD but China had $ 51 per capita less than India ($ 317 to $ 368).

Lets go to the basics. India was still ahead in Manufacturing. Indian quality was far, far better than the Chinese stuff.

So what went wrong with Indias economy?

是的,1990年的时候印度和中国的GDP非常接近,印度3320亿美元,中国3750亿美元,中国的人均GDP比印度低51美元(317美元 VS 368美元)。



The most basic difference

China identified that they were a third world economy, identified that their products were fifth rate and decided to do something about it. They faced the Situation

India refused to admit to being a Third world economy except when it came to justifying public expenditure. They refused to identify their products as fifth rate. They refused to do anything about it. They refused to admit reality.

Instead they began the Ostrich effect. Hiding behind Mediocrity and putting a positive spin on everything.





The Indian Economy is a result of Indias Attitude.

Indian Manufacturers made fifth rate products because - they can. They didnt have the competition. If the slightest competitors came up - They would WHINE and run to the Government and use the formula of “Influence” to prevent competition.



Meanwhile China opened up everything. They sent students all over the world to learn and come back with valuable inputs. They opened up their universities offering huge sums to Visiting Professors from Canada or Britain or USA who were willing to overlook the “Co unist” tag. They slowly and steadily learnt - then started their own manufacture and began to manufacture all the components and finally the entire finished product.

The Attitude was already a massive defeat.



The second reason is the Indian Attitude of Short cuts

Short term fast money is better than Long Term slow but huge mounds of money

As a result - even before we could better our manufacturing - we moved into Services. Glorified Haircutting Saloons or Massage Parlors.




Our IT still focused on doing Project work for Foreigners using their Technological Developments while Chinese IT is focusing on R & D and develo their own core technology and doing landmark projects for their own companies. In 10 years- They will wipe us off the face of the map even in the IT field.

The Chinese are long term players. They preferred manufacturing instead of services. First manufacturing for Foreigners, then slowly develo the technology to make components, then sub components and finally making the whole product at cheaper cost. Today over 85% of exported goods are made by them and their own companies.





Sunil Thakore

How long will it take for India to catch up with Africa's GDP/Capita?

I do not understand how you can compare a continent to a country. It is similar to asking the same of Germany and Africa. It places notthing in context.




Balachandran Krishnamoorty

The GDP per capita of India is low, but when I went to India, it didn't seem like a poor country. Even in rural parts, the people were really happy. Decent infrastructure was present everywhere.Why?

The Western media takes pleasure in portraying India as a nation of beggars. All they know about India is it is a land of snake charmers anf performers of the rope trick. They apply Western yardstick in determining poverty level. Just because every Indian does not own a BMW , India cannot be regarded as dirt poor. India is the only country in the world where rice can be bought at Rs 3 a kg and wheat at Rs 2 a kg. India may not be rich by American standards but it is certainly not poor by Indian standards. That is what counts ultimately.


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