Unexpectedly Intriguing!
August 29, 2007

Political Map of South America, 2006 Political Map of North America, 2006The third stop in our continuing series comparing the relative economic performance of the nations of the world brings us to the entire Western Hemisphere!

As in previous weeks, we've once again provided a dynamic ranking table to show each of the countries' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), their population and GDP-PPP per Capita for 2006. We've also determined each country's annualized rate of growth of their GDP-PPP per capita since 2004.

As we've seen in our rankings from previous weeks, the fastest growing nations in our survey all share a unique economic characteristic, or rather, they share one particular industry that has seen major growth as a major component of their economies. Unlike previous weeks though, it's not the oil industry - we'll have the answer to which industry it is below the table.

Speaking of which, you may sort the data in our dynamic table below by clicking any of the column headings. Doing so will sort the data in the table from low to high value or from high to low (by clicking a column heading a second time.) To restore the original order, you'll need to refresh the page in your web browser.

2006 GDP-PPP for the Americas
Country Population GDP-PPP GDP-PPP per Capita Pop. Est. Date GDP Est. Date % Change GDP-PPP per Capita, Since 2004
Antigua and Barbuda 69,108 1,145,000,000 16,568.27 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 22.9%
Argentina 39,921,833 608,800,000,000 15,249.8 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 11.1%
Aruba 103,484 2,396,000,000 23,153.34 July 2006 est. 2006 est. [2] 3.1%
Bahamas, The 303,770 6,556,000,000 21,582.12 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 10.5%
Barbados 279,912 5,146,000,000 18,384.35 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 5.8%
Belize 287,730 2,307,000,000 8,017.93 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 10.9%
Bolivia 8,989,046 27,870,000,000 3,100.44 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 10.1%
Brazil 188,078,227 1,655,000,000,000 8,799.53 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 4.2%
British Virgin Islands 23,098 1,008,000,000 43,640.14 July 2006 est. 2006 est. [2] 6.5%
Canada 33,098,932 1,178,000,000,000 35,590.27 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 6.3%
Cayman Islands 45,436 2,472,000,000 54,406.2 July 2006 est. 2006 est. [2] 11.5%
Chile 16,134,219 202,700,000,000 12,563.36 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 8.4%
Colombia 43,593,035 374,400,000,000 8,588.53 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 13.7%
Costa Rica 4,075,261 50,890,000,000 12,487.54 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 14.1%
Cuba 11,382,820 45,510,000,000 3,998.13 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 15.5%
Dominica 71,727 485,000,000 6,761.75 July 2006 est. 2006 est. [1] 10.4%
Dominican Republic 9,183,984 77,090,000,000 8,393.96 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 15.4%
Ecuador 13,547,510 61,520,000,000 4,541.06 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 10.1%
El Salvador 6,822,378 33,680,000,000 4,936.7 July 2006 est. 2006 est. .3%
Grenada 89,703 982,000,000 10,947.24 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 49.1%
Guatemala 12,293,545 61,380,000,000 4,992.86 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 9.5%
Guyana 767,245 3,711,000,000 4,836.79 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 8.5%
Haiti 8,308,504 14,790,000,000 1,780.1 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 6.3%
Jamaica 2,758,124 12,820,000,000 4,648.09 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 6.4%
Mexico 107,449,525 1,149,000,000,000 10,693.39 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 5.6%
Netherlands Antilles 221,736 3,400,000,000 15,333.55 July 2006 est. 2006 est. [2] 16.8%
Nicaragua 5,570,129 17,330,000,000 3,111.24 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 16.3%
Panama 3,191,319 26,040,000,000 8,159.64 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 9.1%
Paraguay 6,506,464 31,260,000,000 4,804.45 July 2006 est. 2006 est. -.3%
Peru 28,302,603 186,600,000,000 6,593.03 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 8.1%
Puerto Rico 3,927,188 75,820,000,000 19,306.44 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 7.2%
Puerto Rico 3,927,188 75,820,000,000 19,306.44 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 7.2%
Saint Kitts and Nevis 39,129 726,000,000 18,554.01 July 2007 est. 2006 est. 45.8%
Saint Lucia 168,458 1,179,000,000 6,998.78 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 15.2%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 117,848 864,000,000 7,331.48 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 58.5%
Suriname 439,117 3,136,000,000 7,141.6 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 28.7%
Trinidad and Tobago 1,065,842 21,120,000,000 19,815.32 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 37.6%
United States 298,444,215 13,130,000,000,000 43,994.82 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 4.7%
Uruguay 3,431,932 37,540,000,000 10,938.45 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 11.2%
Venezuela 25,730,435 186,300,000,000 7,240.45 July 2006 est. 2006 est. 11.7%
The Americas (All) 884,834,571 19,300,973,000,000 21,813.09 July 2006 2006 5.7%

Caribbean Dreams

Political Map of Central America and the Caribbean, 2006 The big winners in growing their GDP-PPP per capita were many of the island nations of the Caribbean. While GDP-PPP figure is nearly double the previous year's figure with no good explanation, it's clear that the Caribbean was the place to be to realize rapid growth in the Western Hemisphere from 2004 to 2006.

The biggest clear winner would seem to be the island nation of Grenada. Here, the rebound of the island's tourism and agriculture industries following the destruction of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 helped seal a strong annualized rate of growth of 49.1% in GDP-PPP per capita over the two years since.

The next big winner would seem to be Saint Kitts and Nevis. Here, although we see the second greatest increase in GDP-PPP per capita in the western hemisphere, this result is partly an artifact of combination of the nation's decline in population and the revival of the tourism industry across the Caribbean from 2004 to 2006.

Here, the nation's population loss was in large part driven by its government's move to shut down its money-losing state-run sugar production operations in 2005, which resulted in an out-migration from the island. While this was happening however, the nation benefitted from the revival of tourism following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack against the United States, which greatly impacted this industry throughout the Caribbean. Strong tourism growth combined with a smaller population helps account for the nation's blistering 45.8% rate of GDP-PPP growth per capita.

Number three on the rapid growth rate scale is the nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Here, increased tourism combined with revenues from the island's oil refining and production operations, which benefitted from increasing world prices for oil and gasoline, helped deliver remarkable GDP-PPP per capita growth from 2004 to 2006.

Moving to the continents of North and South America, we find solid growth from Canada down through Chile, with some really impressive growth in Suriname, which has benefitted from higher world commodity prices for its large mining industry.

Sources and Acknowledgements:

Previously on Political Calculations

2006 Economic and Population Data

2004 Economic and Population Data

2002 Economic and Population Data

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