9 incredible facts about India's economy

9 incredible facts about India's economy

Danish Siddiqui/Reuters




  • India has one of the largest economies in the world, and it's growing quickly.
  • But corruption and violence have cost the nation more than $1 trillion.
  • Read on for nine incredible facts about India's economy.
India is a thriving nation with a population estimated at around 1.37 billion people, so it's little wonder that its economy is one of the largest on the planet.

Currently, India has the seventh largest economy based on GDP, but it is poised to move up the list if current expansion trends there continue.

This rapid expansion remains hampered by corruption at all levels of government and by endemic violence that plagues many of India's 29 states. In fact, were it not for these twin issues, India would likely already enjoy a more robust economy - economists estimate India lost out on more than $1 trillion because of violence in 2017 alone.

Troubles aside, India remains a massive global exporter, an agricultural powerhouse, and home to all 10 of the fastest growing cities in the world.

Read on for nine surprising facts about India's economy.

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India's economy has nearly sextupled in size in less than 20 years

India's economy has nearly sextupled in size in less than 20 years

In 1999, India's gross domestic product was approximately $459 billion dollars, according to the World Bank. In 2018, the country generated the equivalent of $2.726 trillion US dollars. That's an expansion of just short of six times in less than two decades.

India's annual GDP surpassed France's last year, and will likely surpass the UK's next year

India's annual GDP surpassed France's last year, and will likely surpass the UK's next year

According to the World Bank, India's 2017 GDP of $2.726 trillion was just short of France's GDP of $2.778 trillion. That made India the country with the seventh largest GDP.

But India may not stay behind France for long.

Economists predict that in 2020, India will generate a larger gross domestic product than both France and the United Kingdom, which would make India's the world's fifth largest economy.

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But India still has a smaller economy than the state of California by about 8.1%

But India still has a smaller economy than the state of California by about 8.1%

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, California's 2018 GDP was approximately $2.968 trillion. That same year India's total GDP was about $2.726 trillion in American currency, which is 8.1% smaller than that of the Golden State, America's leading economic powerhouse.

Related: 16 mind-blowing facts about California's economy

India has the fastest growing economy in the world

India has the fastest growing economy in the world

Experts forecast the Indian economy to grow by 7.4% in the 2019 fiscal year, compared with a projected 6.3% growth in China and just 2.5% in the United States. Even this impressive growth is a step down from the 9% expansion the Indian economy enjoyed from 2003 to 2008, growth halted by the global financial crisis of 2008.

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Officials confiscated at least half a billion dollars' worth of bribes during the 2019 national election

Officials confiscated at least half a billion dollars' worth of bribes during the 2019 national election

In the spring of 2019, India held national elections filling hundreds of parliamentary positions. In the run up to the polls closing on May 19, police and other officials confiscated more than $502 million worth of gold, drugs, alcohol, hard cash, and other bribes intended to buy votes.

Violence cost India approximately 9% of GDP in 2017

Violence cost India approximately 9% of GDP in 2017

Hundreds of incidents of communal violence, active aggression in the disputed Kashmir region, and a cold standoff with China all contribute to huge losses of potential value for India year after year. Economists estimate that in 2017 alone, violence cost India $1.2 trillion. That equates to roughly 9% of its overall gross domestic product, or about $600 lost per citizen.

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India ranks 70th in terms of average annual income

India ranks 70th in terms of average annual income

In 2015, the average annual income for a worker in India was $1,790, placing the nation at No. 69 in terms of yearly earnings. That equates to just $149 a month.

In 70th place was neighbor and rival Pakistan, where average annual income was calculated to be $1,580.

Agriculture accounts for 50% of jobs in India

Agriculture accounts for 50% of jobs in India

India is the world's largest producer of milk and the world, and the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables. The country also has a thriving trade in seafood. Overall, agricultural production accounts for more than half of all jobs in India.

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Fuel exports constitute India's No. 1 export, accounting for 15% of its total exports

Fuel exports constitute India's No. 1 export, accounting for 15% of its total exports

Most Indians may work in agriculture, but it's mineral fuels that generate the most revenue in exports. In 2018, India exported about $48.3 billion worth of petroleum products, much of it already refined.

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