John Kerry will be a great President, but
Clearing the confusion over indelible ink in Afghan elections

India's poor economic performance

I was reviewing some historical economic data on GDP, Population and per-capita GDP for various countries in the World. I knew that India lags behind many Asian countries in terms of GDP and per-capita GDP. But the magnitude surprised me! I compared the figures for 1950 (when India became a Republic) and 2000 for various Asian countries. Here are the tabulated results (some of figures could have been rounded. Blame MS Excel):

Table 1: Year 1950

Country Population (000 at mid-year) GDP (millions) Per Capita GDP
China - Chine 546815 239903 439
India - Inde 359000 222222 619
Indonesia - Indonésie 79043 66358 840
Japan - Japon 83805 160966 1921
South Korea - Corée du Sud 20846 16045 770
Thailand - Thaïlande 20042 16375 817
Taiwan 7981 7378 924
Hong Kong 2237 4962 2218
Malaysia - Malaisie 6434 10032 1559
Singapore - Singapour 1022 2268 2219

Table 2: Year 2000

Country

Per Capita GDP


Population
(000 at mid-year)
GDP (millions)
China - Chine 1,264,093 4,329,913 3,425
India - Inde 1,007,702 1,924,297 1,910
Indonesia - Indonésie 210,875 675,503 3,203
Japan - Japon 126,700 2,669,450 21,069
South Korea - Corée du Sud 47,261 677,871 14,343
Thailand - Thaïlande 62,352 395,046 6,336
Taiwan 22,151 368,635 16,642
Hong Kong 7,116 152,980 21,499
Malaysia - Malaisie 21,793 171,553 7,872
Singapore - Singapour 4,152 92,198 22,207

Table 3: Comparison between 1950 and 2000.

Country Population ratio GDP Per Capital GDP
(2000/1950)
Ratio (2000/1950) Ratio (2000/1950)
China - Chine 2.332401 19.04849 8.166901
India - Inde 2.851226 9.014378 3.16158
Indonesia - Indonésie 2.71122 10.5156 3.878547
Japan - Japon 1.514134 16.30483 10.76842
South Korea - Corée du Sud 2.284371 43.54758 19.06327
Thailand - Thaïlande 3.143804 24.55921 7.81194
Taiwan 2.794441 49.01477 17.5401
Hong Kong 3.223292 30.89198 9.583983
Malaysia - Malaisie 3.455041 17.1861 4.974211
Singapore - Singapour 4.207435 39.83862 9.468626

What is India's excuse for such a dismal economic performance? Large population? No, because China had more population than India in 1950 and 2000! Hong Kong and Singapore had increased their population by a ratio of 3.2 and 4.2 resp. while India increased her by 2.85. The China's GDP grew by 19 times in 50 years while the figures for Hong Kong and Singapore are 30 and 39 resp. British looted us? China, and South Korea were terrible in 1950. China had a bloody civil war and resulting rise of communism, while South Korea was invaded before by Japan, and ravaged by war with North Korea.

Other than our failed economic policies (Nehru and Indira Gandhi are to be blamed here) I cannot find any other explaination! The facts and figures are just too dammning!

The Excel spreadsheet has this note regarding the source of the data:
* Source: Virtually all the data are derived from The World Economy: Historical Statistics,
OECD Development Centre, Paris 2003, which contains detailed source notes.
See also The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, OECD Development Centre, Paris 2001.
Figures for 1820 onwards are annual, whereever possible. For earlier years,
benchmark figures are shown for 1 AD, 1000 AD, 1500, 1600 and 1700.
Figures for 1820 onwards are annual, wherever possible.

For updates of the GDP and per capita GDP figures beyond 2001,
readers may find it helpful to refer to the ggdc database (http://www.ggdc.net/)

Update: I tried to format the tables so as to fit within the margins. Thanks for all those who gave feedback on the page problems. Unfortunately, I could not make the tables better than this. Any help will be appreciated.

Comments

Ali

Thank you for the fantastic work. I wasn't aware of these numbers.
Cheers
Ali

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)