Four ways to view the world’s well-being

For decades, gross domestic product or GDP — the sum of goods and services produced by a country — has been the yardstick used to measure national wealth. Divide by this figure by a nation’s population and you get GDP per capita, a convenient measure of the average wealth of its citizens.

But GDP isn’t the only way to view well-being across the globe. In the maps below, countries are shaded according to index or per capita measures, representing the well-being of the average citizen. Nations are sized according to these values multiplied by population, giving a “gross” value that allows alternative measures to be compared to GDP.

Source: World Bank, UN Development Programme, New Economics Foundation