GDP per capita

The list of purchasing power adjusted GDP per capita for the OECD countries is a rough comparison of the living standards of countries. Measured this way, Sweden was the fourth richest OECD country in the 1970s.

Each year, the OECD compiles a table ranking its member countries according to their purchasing power adjusted GDP per capita. “Purchasing power adjusted” means the GDP per capita of the country has been adjusted with respect to price levels in order to increase comparability. The list shows the value of the production of the countries adjusted for both price levels and population size.

From the late 1970s until the early 1990s, the growth rate of the Swedish GDP was weaker than for the majority of the industrialised countries. During the deep recession in 1991-1993, the Swedish GDP actually fell about 4 per cent, which resulted in a swift fall in the OECD list. As a consequence, Sweden’s purchasing power adjusted GDP per capita fell in relation to other industrial countries, from fourth to 13th position in 1993. Since the late 1990s, Sweden has climbed somewhat in the list and is currently ranked as the 11th richest OECD country.

When comparing the purchasing power adjusted GDP per capita, it is important to note that the differences between some countries are very small. Also, countries continuously revise their GDP figures, which may lead to rapid changes in the ranking.