China vs Japan – GDP Indicators Comparison

China and Japan are the second and the third largest economies respectively in the world right now. In this article, we will share 10 charts comparing China and Japan on the following indicators related to Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Nominal GDP, Nominal GDP per capita, GDP on a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis, GDP PPP per capita, Real GDP Growth. We will use the publicly available data from International Monetary Fund (IMF).

China vs Japan – GDP Comparison 1980-2023

During 1980, China GDP was $305 billion and Japan GDP was $1,105 billion. By the year 2000, China GDP increased to $1,215 billion and Japan GDP increased to $4,888 billion.

China GDP surpassed Japan in 2010 when its GDP reached $6,066 billion and Japan GDP was $5,700 billion.

In 2018, IMF estimates China GDP to be $13,457 billion and Japan GDP to be $5,071 billion. By 2023, IMF forecasts China GDP to reach $19,581 billion and Japan GDP to reach $5,908 billion. So, China GDP would be over three-times than the Japan GDP.

The following chart compares the GDP of China and Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - GDP Comparison 1980-2023

Japan GDP 1980-2023

If we take a look at the Japan nominal GDP from 1980 to 2023, we observe that Japan GDP had strong growth from 1980 to 1995. In 1995, it reached $5.5 trillion. From then, it went up and down for 15 years until it reached that level again in 2010. This was the result of stagnation in the Japanese economy following asset price bubble collapse in early 1990s.

In 2018, Japan GDP was again less than the 1995 level. IMF forecasts that Japan GDP will exceed 1995 level in 2021.

The following chart shows the GDP of Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - Japan GDP 1980-2023

China GDP 1980-2023

While Japan GDP in 2018 was less than its 1995 level, China GDP in 2018 was 18-times its 1995-level.

The following chart shows the GDP of China from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - China GDP 1980-2023

China vs Japan – Total Population Comparison 1980-2023

Before comparing GDP per capita, we will compare the population of China and Japan.
During 1980, China population was 987 million and Japan population was 117 million. So, China population was 8.5-times Japan population. In 2018, IMF estimates China population to be 1397 million and Japan population to be 126 million.

From 1980 to 2018, Japan population has increased by less than 10 million, whereas China population has increased by 410 million. So, China has added three-times more people than the Japan total population.

By 2023, IMF forecasts China population to reach 1421 million and Japan population to be 124 million. This means China population would be 11.5-times the Japan population.

The following chart compares the population of China and Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - Population Comparison 1980-2023

China vs Japan – GDP per capita Comparison 1980-2023

During 1980, China GDP per capita was $309 and Japan GDP per capita was $9,466.

In 2018, IMF estimates Japan GDP per capita to be $40,106. Since Japan population is stagnant and Japan GDP is not growing, Japan GDP per capita is also not growing. Japan GDP per capita in 1995 was $43,441.

By 2023, IMF forecasts China GDP per capita to reach $13,780 and Japan GDP per capita to reach $47,617.

The following chart compares the GDP per capita of China and Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - GDP per capita Comparison 1980-2023

China vs Japan – GDP PPP Comparison 1980-2023

During 1980, China GDP PPP was $307 billion and Japan GDP PPP was $1,045 billion.

China overtake Japan in GDP PPP during 1999.

In 2018, IMF estimates China GDP PPP to be $25,313 billion and Japan GDP PPP to be $5,632 billion. By 2023, IMF forecasts China GDP PPP to reach $37,198 billion and Japan GDP PPP to reach $6,380 billion. So, China GDP PPP would be six-times Japan GDP PPP.

The following chart compares the GDP PPP of China and Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - GDP PPP Comparison 1980-2023

China vs Japan – GDP PPP per capita Comparison 1980-2023

During 1980, China GDP PPP per capita was $311 and Japan GDP PPP per capita was $8,948. So, Japan GDP PPP per capita was 29-times China GDP PPP per capita.

In 2018, IMF estimates China GDP PPP per capita to be $18,120 and Japan GDP PPP per capita to be $44,550. By 2023, IMF forecasts China GDP PPP per capita to reach $26,178 and Japan GDP PPP per capita to reach $51,423. So, China GDP PPP per capita would be nearly half of the Japan GDP PPP per capita.

The following chart compares the GDP PPP per capita of China and Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - GDP PPP per capita Comparison 1980-2023

China vs Japan – Real GDP Growth Comparison 1980-2023

From 2000 to 2018, China real GDP growth (the one computed from the GDP reported in national currencies) has remained above 6%, whereas Japan real GDP growth has mostly remained less than 2%.

In 2018, IMF estimates China real GDP growth to be 6.6% and Japan real GDP growth to be 1.1%.

The following chart shows the real GDP growth of China and Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - Real GDP Growth Comparison 2000-2023

China vs Japan – GDP Indicators Summary 2019

Before comparing IMF 2019 GDP forecasts for China and Japan, lets us look at their land area.
China land area is 9,326,410 sq km and Japan land area is 364,543 sq km. So, China land area is 26-times Japan land area.
In 2019, IMF forecasts:

  • China GDP to be $14,172 billion and Japan GDP to be $5,221 billion. So, China GDP would be 2.7-times Japan GDP.
  • China GDP per capita to be $10,099 and Japan GDP per capita to be $41,418. So, Japan GDP per capita would be 4-times China GDP per capita.
  • China population to be 1,403 million and Japan population to be 126 million. So, China population would be 11.1-times Japan population.
  • China GDP PPP to be $27,449 billion and Japan GDP PPP to be $5,807 billion. So, China GDP PPP would be 4.7-times Japan GDP PPP.
  • China GDP PPP per capita to be $19,559 and Japan GDP PPP per capita to be $46,069. So, Japan GDP PPP per capita would be 2.4-times China GDP PPP per capita.
  • China Real GDP Growth to be 6.2% and Japan Real GDP Growth to be 0.9%.

The following chart shows a summary of the GDP related indicators of China and Japan during 2019.

China vs Japan - GDP Indicators Summary 2019

China vs Japan – GDP and GDP per capita growth summary

China GDP during 1980 was $305 billion and GDP per capita was $309. IMF forecasts China GDP to reach $19,581 billion and GDP per capita to reach $13,780 by 2023, implying an increase of 64-times and 45-times respectively during the 43-year period.

Japan GDP during 1980 was $1,105 billion and GDP per capita was $9,466. IMF forecasts Japan GDP to reach $5,908 billion and GDP per capita to reach $47,617 by 2023, implying an increase of 5-times and 5-times respectively during the 43-year period.

The following chart shows the increase in GDP and GDP per capita of China and Japan from 1980 to 2023.

China vs Japan - GDP and GDP per capita growth summary 1980-2023

Notes

1. Data Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook (WEO) database, October 2018 edition.

Related Pages

1. GDP related definitions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *