According to the World Bank, South Korea’s nominal GDP totaled US$1.3779 trillion in 2015 to rank 11th in the world behind Canada (US$1.5551 trillion). In the global GDP rankings, South Korea had ranked 12th in 2001, 11th in 2002 to 2004 and 10th in 2005. However, it fell to the 11th place in 2006, 13th in 2007 and 15th in 2008 before moving up a notch to No. 14 in 2009, remaining there until 2013 and climbing another notch to 13th in 2014.
South Korea’s performance for last year has to do with a significant decrease in the GDPs of some other countries. In fact, South Korea’s GDP decreased by approximately 2.4% from a year ago last year. Its won-denominated GDP increased but its dollar-denominated GDP showed a negative growth due to the strong dollar. During the same period, Russia’s GDP plummeted by 34.7% to US$1.326 trillion and that of Australia fell by 7.9% to US$1.3396 trillion as the prices of oil, iron ore, copper and the like continued to drop. As a result, Russia slid from 10th to 13th between 2014 and last year and Australia remained at 12th.
The top spot went to the United States (US$17.947 trillion), which was followed by China (US$10.8664 trillion), Japan (US$4.1233 trillion), Germany (US$3.3558 trillion), Britain (US$2.8488 trillion), France (US$2.4217 trillion), India (US$2.0735 trillion), Italy (US$1.8148 trillion) and Brazil (US$1.7747 trillion).
Last year, South Korea recorded a GNI per capita of US$27,740, down by four notches to 46th and remaining below US$30,000 for the ninth consecutive year after breaking the US$20,000 mark by a margin of US$2,460 in 2007. When it comes to PPP-based GNI per capita, South Korea ranked 48th with US$34,700, down by six notches.