The Fastest Growing Economies in the World (No. 4 Will Shock You)

Fastest Growing EconomiesWhich Is the Fastest Growing Economy in 2017?

When the discussion comes to naming the fastest-growing economy in the world, China seems to always be under the spotlight. But there’s a whole other world out there, full of countries that are also undergoing explosive growth. You may even be surprised to learn that China doesn’t top the fastest-growing economies list.

The following list of the fastest-growing economies in the world is based on 2017 growth projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (Source: “World Economic Outlook October 2016,” International Monetary Fund, last accessed October 5, 2016.)

Take a look at our list of the top 10 fastest-growing emerging economies in the world.

10. Nigeria

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 0.6%

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Nigeria is Africa’s largest country and economy, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of about $490.0 billion in 2015. The country is rich in resources, especially oil, but it is moving toward a service sector economy. In 2014, the country reached a record GDP of $568.51 billion, when the service sector contributed 57% to Nigeria’s growth.

As the country is reliant on oil, its economy has faced some scrutiny.

But if you look at the long term, Nigeria’s growth has been simply amazing. Over the past decade, Nigeria’s government has made economic reforms to accelerate growth. From 2000 to 2012, Nigeria’s GDP per capita has roughly doubled, from about $1,400 per person to about $2,800 per person.

9. Colombia

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 2.7%

Colombia is one of the biggest economic hubs in Latin America. Petroleum is the country’s main export, accounting for about 45% of total exports.

Colombia’s government has made sound economic policies and has aggressively made free trade agreements in recent years to stimulate economic growth.

Growth in 2014 was 4.4%. Sadly, low oil prices have impacted the growth rate for the country. Its long-term outlook remains solid regardless.

8. Turkey

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 3.0%

Turkey’s free market economy is increasingly driven by its industry and service sectors, although employment in agriculture still accounts for about 25% of its workforce.

The country’s government has recently undergone steps to privatize institutions and reduce state involvement in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication.

The emerging middle class is adding vigor to the economy and helping to expand production beyond the traditional textile and clothing sectors.

7. Romania

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 3.8%

Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and has since made considerable economic reforms to its institutions to align it with a market economy and stimulate economic growth. Domestic consumption and foreign direct investment have helped drive that growth.

Romania has a diversified economy, but its service sector is growing, accounting for about 52% of GDP, while agriculture and industry accounts for 12% and 36% of GDP, respectively.

Poverty used to be a huge problem for Romania, but the country’s explosive economic growth has greatly alleviated it.

6. Egypt

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 4.0%

Since 2000, Egypt’s government underwent economic reforms to attract foreign direct investment and spur economic growth. The reforms and policies helped Egypt’s economy grow at a rate of eight percent annually between 2004 and 2009.

Egypt’s growth rate over the past decade has taken a hit since the 2011 revolution. The country’s government faces numerous challenges as to how to get back up to past growth rates by restoring market and investor confidence. Regardless, the country continues to accelerate at a decent pace.

5. Pakistan

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 5.0%

Pakistan is currently liberalizing its economy, including privatization of all government corporations, with the goal of attracting foreign direct investment.

About 40% of the country’s population is employed in the agricultural sector, but economic growth is being led by foreign direct investment and the services sector.

Pakistan has made substantial reductions in poverty. It fell from 35% in 2002 to about 13.6% in 2011. With a solid growth rate expected going forward, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the poverty rate decline further.

4. Indonesia

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 5.3%

Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the 16th largest economy in the world. Even though economic growth has slowed down in recent years, the country’s growth is still outputting impressive numbers.

Gross national income per capita has grown aggressively since 2000. In 2000, GDP per capita was $560.00, rising to $3,650.00 in 2014.

Indonesia has also made great strides toward reducing poverty, more than halving the poverty rate to 11.2% in 2014.

Indonesia is in the third phase of a 20-year development plan that will focus on infrastructure development, education, and healthcare. These, along with foreign direct investment, will be the main drivers of growth.

3. China

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 6.2%

Since the 1970s, China’s government has reformed its economy from a closed, centrally planned system to more of an open market-oriented one. The restructuring of the economy and reforms have led to an over-tenfold increase in GDP since 1978.

In 2010, China became the world’s largest exporter, as it has become a manufacturing powerhouse. Over the past two years, there’s been a significant amount of noise that suggests that China’s headed toward a slowdown. Despite this, the country continues to register phenomenal growth rates.

2. Bangladesh

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 6.9%

Bangladesh’s economy has grown about six percent annually since 1996. Cheap labor and a young consumer base of about 160 million (with increasing purchasing power) have led this development.

More than half of the country’s GDP comes from the services sector, even though about 50% of the population is employed in agriculture, with rice being the largest product.

The country’s main export is garments, accounting for more than 80% of total exports and surpassing $25.0 billion in 2015.

1. India

2017 GDP Growth Estimate: 7.6%

India is developing into an open-market economy, as its government is taking steps toward economic liberalization. Measures such as industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign investment that began in the early 1990s accelerated the country’s growth to about seven percent annually per year from 1997 to 2011.

The services sector is the major source of growth, even though about half of the workforce is employed in agriculture, accounting for about two-thirds of GDP.

Rank Country GDP Growth In 2016 Estimated GDP Growth In 2017 Estimated
1 India 7.6% 7.6%
2 Bangladesh 6.9% 6.9%
3 China 6.6% 6.2%
4 Indonesia 4.9% 5.3%
5 Pakistan 4.7% 5.0%
6 Egypt 3.8% 4.0%
7 Romania 5.0% 3.8%
8 Turkey 3.3% 3.0%
9 Colombia 2.2% 2.7%
10 Nigeria -1.7% 0.6%