India becomes world’s sixth largest economy, muscles past France in World Bank ranking

India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the worth of the economy, clocked in at $2.6 trillion for 2017, according to the database of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018. That is well over the $2.5 trillion milestone that supposedly separates big economies from pretenders. India is now the world’s sixth largest economy, displacing France. The five economies ahead are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

“This is a landmark development for India,” said an official in the finance ministry in New Delhi, and insisted that though it might look symbolic, implications were more far-reaching than immediately apparent.

India has become the world’s sixth-largest economy, pushing France into seventh place, according to the latest World Bank (WB) data for 2017. India’s GDP hit $2.597 trillion in 2017, while France’s was at $2.582 trillion, the development bank said. The United States (US), China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) occupy the top five slots with GDPs of $19.390 trillion, $12.237 trillion, $4.872 trillion, $3.677 trillion and $2.622 trillion respectively.


India’s GDP over five decades

According to the WB, over five decades, India’s GDP has ballooned, from $37 billion in 1960, to $2.597 trillion now. Since the economic reforms announced in 1991, the nation’s GDP expanded almost nine times (in 26 years) from $267 billion in 1991 to $2.597 trillion in 2017. Prior to that, and in the preceding 26 years, the nation’s GDP grew just 3.5 times.


India Vs France GDP comparison

In just the past decade, India has doubled the size of its economy, outpacing that of France. While India’s GDP has risen by an average 8.3 percent over a decade, France’s actually contracted by 0.01 percent. To add more perspective, over the past 10 years, India’s GDP grew by 116.3 percent (from $1.201 trillion in 2007 to $2.597 trillion in 2017) while France witnessed a 2.8 percent decline (from $2.657 trillion in 2007 to $2.583 trillion in 2017). This clearly tells us that India is building economic muscle consistently and that it is emerging as one of the powerhouses. Though India surpassed France in GDP ranking, when it comes to per capita income, it is still a fraction of that of France. This is due to the marked difference in the population of the two countries – India has 134 crore inhabitants while France is home to 6.7 crore people. Among the top 10 economies, India has the lowest per capita income, at PPP of $7,060 in 2017, according to the WB data. Though China has a higher population than India, it still has decent per capita income, at $16,760. By comparison, the world’s leading economy, the United States has a per capita income of $60,200.

Now, the difference between India and the United Kingdom’s GDP (which is ranked at the fifth position) is just $25 billion, suggesting that India could enter the ‘top-five economy club’ in a very short time.