NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Output Of The European Union Equals The United States'

December 10, 1998

The value of gross domestic product (GDP) in European Union countries during 1997 was almost identical to that of the U.S. Here, it was $8.1 trillion; there, it was the equivalent of $8.09 trillion.

Here are some other interesting economic comparisons:

  • The U.S. has a market capitalization of $6.9 trillion -- compared to $3.8 trillion for the EU and $3.7 trillion for Japan.
  • America uses capital about 15 percent more efficiently than France or Germany and about 9 percent more efficiently than Britain.
  • The U.S. holds 55 percent of all patents issued and Japan has the next highest at 21 percent -- while Germany trails at 6 percent; France at 3 percent; Britain and South Korea at 2 percent each; and Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy at 1 percent each.
  • Based on GDP, U.S. per capita purchasing power is projected next year at $28,020 -- compared to $21,110 for Germany, $21,510 for France, $19,960 for Britain, $19,890 for Italy and $18,770 for Sweden.

Perhaps Americans make more because they work longer. We work longer hours and take only 10 vacation days a year -- the same as the Japanese and South Koreans. Everyone else takes at least 20 days and the Italians average 26.

Americans spend 14 percent of GDP on health care; Germany devotes 10.5 percent of GDP to it; France, 9.7 percent; the Netherlands, 8.6 percent; Italy, Sweden and Japan between 7 percent and 8 percent; and Britain, 6.9 percent.


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