Which is the world’s fastest-growing large economy? Clue: it’s not China

Vehicles move along New Delhi's Connaught Place during evening hours, October 28, 2014. India has the world's deadliest roads, the result of a flood of untrained drivers, inadequate law enforcement, badly maintained highways and cars that fail modern crash tests. Alarmed by the increasing fatalities, the new government has begun a five-year project to cut road deaths by a fifth every year, part of the most ambitious overhaul of highway laws since independence in 1947.?Picture taken October 28, 2014. To match Feature INDIA-DRIVING/    Picture is taken using slow shutter speed. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

One nation's GDP growth has been exceeding that of China since 2014 Image: REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on China?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how China is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:


India has retained its crown as the world’s fastest-growing large economy, according to government statistics.

Growth of 7.9% in the first quarter of this year has seen it stay ahead of China – a country that’s become synonymous with rapid economic growth. According to official Chinese statistics, GDP there reached 6.7% in the first quarter.

Growth in China and India

The above chart shows quarterly GDP growth, compared with the same quarter the previous year, based on official data from India and China. It is calculated using constant prices. As the chart highlights, India’s growth has exceeded China’s since the last quarter of 2014.

It emphasizes both the slowdown in the Chinese economy and the emergence of India as a major force in the global economy.

What’s behind this change?

China’s economic slowdown has been well-documented. The economy is facing a number of challenges, including weak exports, high debt levels and slowing investment. This has had an impact on the global economy, with the IMF estimating significant effects of Chinese declines across Asia generally. However, it is hoped that an economic transition from infrastructure and investment to consumption and services will ensure stability.

China GDP slows
Image: Reuters

It is worth pointing out that China’s growth figures remain the envy of many of the world’s most developed economies. Across Europe, and in the United States, GDP growth remains much lower. For example, in 2015 across EU member nations, it was just 1.9%, according to Eurostat.

India’s growth has been underpinned by agricultural development. Previously dependent on imports, it is now a net exporter of food. The corresponding improvements in health and well-being have seen significant demographic dividends, with the country expected soon to have the largest and youngest workforce the world has even known.

India is now also home to globally recognized companies, from industries such as pharmaceuticals and steel to space technology. Private consumption and exports of goods and services have driven growth in the world’s second-largest country.

However, significant problems remain across India, from inadequate infrastructure to a skills gap, as well as inequality and poverty. The GDP figures have also faced criticism, over a revised method used to calculate them.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
ChinaIndiaEconomic Progress
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

'Consumption boom': Domestic travel surges in China during Lunar New Year

Spencer Feingold

March 6, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum