GDP per capita: Nigeria ranks 17th in Africa despite economic value

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Nigeria, the ‘giant of Africa’ and the most populous country in the region with over 200 million people residing in the country according to World Bank estimates, boasts of being the largest economy on the continent with an aggregate GDP of $468.6 billion.

GDP per capita is an important metric that breaks down a country’s economic output per person and is calculated by dividing the GDP of a country by its population size.

Nigeria’s GDP per capita stood at $2,097.09 in 2020 to rank 17th on the list of African countries, representing a 6% decline compared to $2,229.86 recorded in the previous year.

Despite recording the highest aggregate GDP, it is no surprise that Nigeria’s GDP per capita paints a less than stellar picture as the population size is enormous compared to other countries in the region.

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Nigeria’s population of around 206.1 million accounts for about 18% of the entire sub-Saharan African, which in essence affects the per capita output. However, it is no excuse as the country has the human resources and youthful population to spur significant economic growth.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s real GDP recorded a 5.01% growth in the second quarter of 2021, largely driven by growth in the trade, ICT and electricity sector. It was also spurred by a favourable base period. Recall that in the corresponding period of 2020, Nigeria’s real GDP declined by 6.1% year-on-year.

According to data obtained from the World Bank, the Sub-Saharan African economy, the tiny island of Seychelles leads other countries with a GDP per capita of $11,425.09. The country’s GDP stood at $1.24 billion in the review period.

Second on the list is Mauritius, with an estimated GDP per capita of $8,622.68. This is 22.3% lower than $11,097.59 recorded in 2019.

Its aggregate GDP in 2021 stood at $11.74 billion, representing 14.87% decline compared to $13.79 billion recorded in 2019.

Third in Africa is Equatorial Guinea which recorded a GDP per capital of $7,143.24 in 2021, representing the third highest on the African continent in the review period.

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Gabon, a country on the west coast of Africa boasts of being the fourth highest economy in Africa based on GDP per individual with $7,005.88 and an estimated population of 2.23 million people based on data obtained from the World Bank.

Botswana, a country in the centre of Southern Africa with a population of 2.35 million people, recorded the fifth highest GDP per Capita in Africa at $6,710.99.

The country’s GDP in 2020 stood at $17.18 billion, representing a 7.89% decline compared to $18.65 billion recorded in the previous year.

South Africa is the second-largest economy in Africa, second only to Nigeria with an estimated population of over 59.3 million people. It boasts of a GDP per capita of $5,090.72 to stand in sixth position. The country’s GDP per capita declined by 15.8% from $6,001.4 recorded in the preceding year.

This implies that an average individual in South Africa recorded an estimated output of $5,090.72 in 2020. Meanwhile, the country’s GDP grew by 1.1% in real terms in the first quarter of 2021.

There are also Namibia – $4,211.05; war-torn Libya – $3,699.23; Egypt – $3,547.87 and Eswatini – $3,415.46.