GDP of the USSR and the USA: comparison
The USSR and the US are two world superpowers thatcompeted for primacy in everything from the post-war period to the early 90s of the last century. A very important aspect of this struggle was the economy. Especially great importance was paid to the GDP of the USSR and the United States. Comparison of these indicators was quite a powerful tool in the propaganda of both countries. But at the same time, with the help of these economic data, we too can now, through the shroud of past years, restore the state of affairs in the countries studied. So, what was the GDP of the USSR and the USA in the period of their rivalry?
The concept of gross product
But before analyzing the GDP of the USSR and the US, let's find out what the concept is and what kinds of it exist.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the costall products and services produced in a separate state or region. If we divide the total GDP by the average number of inhabitants of the territory to which it belongs, then we will get the gross product per capita.
Indicators of gross domestic product can bedivided into two large groups: the nominal and the purchasing power parity. The nominal gross product is expressed in national currency, or in terms of the currency of any other country at a fixed exchange rate. When calculating GDP by purchasing power parity, the ratio of currencies to each other in terms of purchasing power relative to a specific type of goods or services is taken into account.
Comparison of economic indicators before World War II
Although the main peak of the rivalry between the USSR and the US falls on the period after World War II, it will be superfluous to look at how the dynamics of their GDP in the first half of the 20th century changed in order to complete the picture.
The pre-war period was rather complicated for botheconomy of the USSR, and for the US economy. In the Soviet Union at this time, the country was rebuilding after the Civil War, which resulted in two of the strongest hunger periods of 1922 and 1932-1933, and the United States in 1929-1932 experienced a period of its history, known as the Great Depression.
Most of all the economy of the Soviet Union sankthe US GDP immediately after the Civil War in 1922. Then the domestic GDP was only about 13% of that in the United States. But, in the following years the USSR began to rapidly reduce the backlog. By the pre-war 1940, the USSR's GDP was $ 417 billion in terms of the US currency, which was already 44% of the United States. That is, Americans at that time had a gross domestic product of about $ 950 billion.
But the war that started began to hurt much moreeconomy of the USSR, than the American one. This was due to the fact that the fighting took place directly on the territory of the Soviet Union, and the US fought only abroad. By the end of World War II, the GDP of the USSR was only about 17% of the US gross product. But, again, after the restoration of production began, the gap between the economies of the two states began to decline rapidly.
Comparison of the GDP of 1950-1970
In 1950, the share of the USSR in world GDP was9.6%. This amounted to 35% of the US GDP, that is, even lower than the pre-war level, but, nevertheless, much higher than the rate of the first post-war year.
In subsequent years, the difference in grossthe products of the two superpowers, which by then became the USSR and the United States, were increasingly shrinking, although not as rapidly as before. By 1970, Soviet GDP was about 40% of the United States' GDP, which was already quite impressive.
GDP of the USSR after 1970
Most of all we are interested in the state of the economyUSSR and the United States after 1970 until the end of the Soviet Union, when the rivalry between them reached its maximum. Therefore, for this period, let us consider the GDP of the USSR by years. Then we will do the same with the gross domestic product of the United States. Well, in the final stage, we compare these results.
GDP of the USSR for the years 1970 - 1990. in million dollars:
- 1970 - 433,400;
- 1971 - 455 600;
- 1972 - 515 800;
- 1973 - 617,800;
- 1974 - 616,600;
- 1975 - 686,000;
- 1976: 688,500;
- 1977 - 738,400;
- 1978: 840,100;
- 1979 - 901,600;
- 1980: 940,000;
- 1981 - 906,900;
- 1982 - 959,900;
- 1983 - 993,000;
- 1984 - 938,300;
- 1985 - 914,100;
- 1986 - 946,900;
- 1987 - 888,300;
- 1988 - 866,900;
- 1989 - 862,000;
- 1990 - 778,400.
As we see, for 1970 the gross domestic productin the USSR amounted to 433.4 billion dollars. Until 1973, it rose to $ 617.88 billion. The following year there was a slight drop, and then growth again resumed. In 1980, GDP reached the level of 940,000 million dollars, but the following year saw a significant drop - $ 906,900 million. This situation was associated with a sharp drop in world oil prices. But, we must pay tribute to the fact that already in 1982, GDP resumed growth. In 1983, it reached its maximum of $ 993,000 million. This is the largest value of the gross domestic product for the entire period of the Soviet Union's existence.
But in the years that followed,continuous decline, which clearly characterized the state of the economy of the USSR of that period. The only episode of short-term growth was observed in 1986. The GDP of the USSR in 1990 amounted to 778,400 million dollars. It was the seventh-largest result in the world, and the total share of the Soviet Union in the world gross product was 3.4%. Thus, compared with 1970, the gross product increased by $ 345,000 million, but at the same time, since 1982, fell by $ 559,600 million.
But here it is necessary to take into account one more detail, the dollar,like any currency is subject to inflation. Therefore, 778,400 million dollars in 1990 in terms of 1970 prices will be 1,092 million dollars. As we see, in this case, from 1970 to 1990, we will observe an increase in GDP of $ 658,600 million.
We have considered the value of nominal GDP, if we talk about GDP at purchasing power parity, then in 1990 it amounted to 1971.5 billion dollars.
The value of the gross product for individual republics
Now let's take a look at how much the GDP of the USSR was in the republics in 1990, or rather, how much, in percentage terms, each subject of the Union put into the common savings fund.
More than half of the total boiler, of course,brought the richest and most populous republic - the RSFSR. Its share was 60.33%. Then followed the second most populous and third-largest republic - Ukraine. The gross domestic product of this subject of the USSR was 17.8% of the all-Union. The third largest country is Kazakhstan (6.8%).
Other republics had the following indicators:
- Belarus - 2.7%.
- Uzbekistan - 2%.
- Azerbaijan - 1,9%.
- Lithuania - 1.7%.
- Georgia - 1.2%.
- Turkmenistan - 1%.
- Latvia - 1%.
- Estonia - 0.7%.
- Moldova - 0.7%.
- Tajikistan - 0.6%.
- Kyrgyzstan - 0.5%.
- Armenia - 0.4%.
As we can see, Russia's share in the composition of the all-Union GDPwas more than all the other republics taken together. At the same time, Ukraine and Kazakhstan had a rather high share of GDP. The rest of the subjects of the USSR - much less.
The current gross product of the former Soviet republics
For a more complete picture, let's take a look at the GDP of the countries of the former USSR to date. Determine whether the order of location of the former Soviet republics has changed in terms of the value of the gross domestic product.
The size of GDP according to IMF data for 2015:
- Russia - $ 1.325 billion
- Kazakhstan - $ 173 billion
- Ukraine - $ 90.5 billion
- Uzbekistan - $ 65.7 billion
- Belarus - $ 54.6 billion
- Azerbaijan - $ 54.0 billion
- Lithuania - $ 41.3 billion
- Turkmenistan - $ 35.7 billion
- Latvia - $ 27.0 billion.
- Estonia - $ 22.7 billion
- Georgia - $ 14.0 billion
- Armenia - $ 10.6 billion
- Tajikistan - $ 7.82 billion
- Kyrgyzstan - $ 6.65 billion
- Moldova - $ 6.41 billion
As we see, the undoubted leader in GDP of the USSRremained Russia. At the moment, its gross product is 1325 billion dollars, which is even larger in nominal value than it was in 1990 as a whole for the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan took the second place, ahead of Ukraine. Uzbekistan and Belarus have also switched places. Azerbaijan and Lithuania remained at the same places they were in the Soviet era. But Georgia has slipped noticeably, letting Turkmenistan, Latvia and Estonia pass ahead. The last place among the post-Soviet countries was Moldova. And she missed the front line, which was Armenia's last GDP in terms of GDP, as well as Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
US GDP from 1970 to 1990
Now let's take a look at the dynamics of changes in the gross domestic product of the USA in the last period of the USSR's existence from 1970 to 1990.
The dynamics of US GDP, million dollars:
- 1970 - 1 075 900.
- 1971 - 1 167 800.
- 1972 - 1 282 400.
- 1973 - 1 428 500.
- 1974 - 1,548,800.
- 1975 - 1 688 900.
- 1976 - 1 877 600.
- 1977 - 2,086,000.
- 1978 - 2 356 600.
- 1979 - 2,632,100.
- 1980 - 2,862,500.
- 1981 - 3,211,000.
- 1982 - 3,345,000.
- 1983 - 3,638,100.
- 1984 - 4 040 700.
- 1985 - 4,346,700.
- 1986 - 4 590 200.
- 1987 - 4,870,200.
- 1988 - 5,252,600.
- 1989 - 5 657 700.
- 1990 - 5 979 600.
As you can see, the nominal GDP of the USA, unlike the USSR's gross domestic product, has been continuously growing over the period from 1970 to 1990. For 20 years, it increased by 4 903 700 million dollars.
The modern level of the US economy
Since we looked at the current state of the levelof the gross product in the post-Soviet countries, it is necessary to find out how the United States is doing with this matter. According to the IMF, the US GDP in 2015 was $ 17,947 billion, more than three times the 1990 figure.
Also this figure is several times greater than the GDP of all the post-Soviet countries combined, including Russia.
Comparison of the gross product of the USSR and the USA for the period from 1970 to 1990
If we compare the GDP level of the USSR and the USAfor the period from 1970 to 1990, we will see that if in the case of the USSR, since 1982, gross product began to decline, then the United States it has grown continuously.
In 1970, the gross product of the USSR was 40.3% of the US, and in 1990 only 13.0%. In real terms, the gap between the GDP of both countries reached 5,201,200 million dollars.
For reference: Russia's current GDP is only 7.4% of the US GDP. That is, in this regard, the situation, compared with 1990, is further exacerbated.
General conclusions on the GDP of the USSR and the USA
Throughout the existence of the USSR, hisThe gross domestic product by size was significantly inferior to that of the United States. Even in the best years for the Soviet Union, it was about half the size of the US gross product. In the worst periods, namely after the Civil War, and before the collapse of the Union, the level dropped to 13%.
An attempt to catch up with the US on economic developmentended in failure, and in the early 1990s, the USSR ceased to exist as a state. At the same time for 1990 the situation with the ratio of the GDP of the USSR to the GDP of the United States was approximately at the level of the situation after the end of the Civil War.
The level of GDP of modern Russia is even more behindfrom American indicators, than it was in 1990 in the USSR. But there are also objective reasons for this, since Russia currently does not include the republics that made up the Soviet Union and also contributed to the total GDP.