~ India’s GDP in last 2000 years

World Economy studies since year 0001 till 2001 AD shows, India with about 33% of World GDP contribution was at top 2000 years ago and remain leading economy for next 1700 years in row! See important findings in 3 charts below. In year 0001, China was at no 2 contributing 26% of world GDP. For first 1800 years India and China together  contributed about 50-70 % of world’s GDP, without misusing their positions & disturbing any other regions! (see chart 1).

India and china were economic superpowers in BCE, even before AD system.You will find many proofs if  you read local language ancient documents/ texts.

Even a casual look at ancient Indian Cities (4700 years old Dholavira Hindu city)  and Monuments/Temples (here) will tell you great Heritage  of India and its advancement compare to other civilizations across the world. Without economic prosperity and scientific advancement it would have not possible to develop such great ancient cities & structures.

What is main reason of India’s economic decline after year 1700 ?

Careful look at graphs will show you that British economy has increased from period 1820 till 1950, from about 3 % to 8 % (highest till date in British History) of World GDP. This is a time when British ruled in India (India got independence on 15th Aug 1947). During this time India’s GDP contribution to the world declined from about 16 % to 4 %. Between year 1700 and about1820, India’s contribution was down from about 25 % to 16 %, most probably due to invasions/fights with Mughal forces from gulf.

Graphs clearly shows, how post colonial time (say after year 1820), UK & USA became leading economies of the world and turned down the table upside down!

After recent economic reforms, India is again trying to catch up. In current scenario in Globalization, India has potential to be among top leading economies of world. India definitely has potential to increase its share from current 5% to not less than 15 % of world GDP in next few years.

Chart 1: World GDP contribution of leading countries/regions for 2000 years (1 to 2001 AD)


Photo: Globindian Blog (www.globindian.wrodpress.com)

Chart 2: Shows same graph as chart 1 but using different style to give clear picture of each country/region


Photo: Globindian Blog (www.globindian.wrodpress.com)

Chart 3: Asia’s contribution to World GDP in last 2000 years (1 to 2001 AD)

Asia (India + China + Japan + East Asian countries) almost ruled the world economy for about 1800 years in last 2000 years. Don’t get surprise if Asia is becoming more attractive for business, they were important economies in past too! In this century, Asia has potential to contribute about 50 % or moe of World GDP, it also has required population density, skilled man power, abundant natural resources and future markets.


Photo: Globindian Blog (www.globindian.wrodpress.com)

About Prof Maddison and his Project:

Prof Angus Maddison, famous British economist, did extensive economic research on World’s economic status since year 1 till 2001 and presented his work in several publications. These publications are considered as most authentic findings from year 0001 till now about history of world economy( before AD in BCE, you can refer various documents in Ancient Hindu/Buddhist texts or Chinese/Cambodian/Tibet/Thailand/East Asian literatures). Various literature search to understand Prof Madison’s work and databases are given below.

Note: This is just to give you a rough idea about India’s contribution in world economy. Graphs are plotted according to data available from Prof. Angus Maddison & team’s studies and  various publications at following references. These charts provides only approximate picture, if you are interested for more accurate and exact data representations, please visit links below and refer the databases.


  • Link to find various databases and publications (reinhartandrogoff.com/data/browse-by-topic/topics/16/ )
  • Prof Maddison’s historical databases (Meddispn project) – (ggdc.net/maddison/maddison-project/home.htm)
  • Prof Angus Maddison (1926-2010) home page – (ggdc.net/MADDISON/oriindex.htm)
  • Table 8b/Page 261. Share of World GDP, 20 Countries & Regional totals, 1-2001 AD (Data referred from cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/business/HS-8_2003.pdf )
  • Statistics on world population, GDP and per Capita GDP, 1-2008 AD by Prof Angus Maddison.
  • Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC) Website for all world History data on economics link (rug.nl/research/ggdc)

Image Credits: Charts by Globindian

sources: Wikipedia, Google Serch, Prof Agnus Maddison works, and all other links mentioned in the post.


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