How big or small are India's States?

Which would be the comparable countries, in terms of GDP?

Welcome to the first edition of our Sum of Parts newsletter. We are super excited about launching this. This, twice a week, newsletter will carry excerpts from our recent book ‘Data Book – State of States’. We publish these books with the primary aim of helping readers understand India better, through data. You can get more details about the book, download an excerpt, and get links to buy from this link.

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On to the first post.

One of the themes that recurs throughout the book and will recur throughout this newsletter is the diversity of India and the different ways this manifests itself. And this post also drives home this point.

How big are the states of India in terms of GDP and which are the comparable countries? There are two ways we can compare the GDP of countries – absolute GDP and Per Capita GDP. The first visual shows absolute GDP and the second one shows per Capita GDP.

In terms of absolute GDP

  • Maharashtra is the largest Indian state with a GDP of almost US$400bn. That makes it broadly comparable to Israel and slightly smaller than the UAE.

  • The second-largest Indian state is Tamil Nadu with a GDP of US$260bn. That makes it slightly smaller than Pakistan (GDP US$276bn) and slightly bigger than Portugal (GDP US$240bn).

  • The 10th largest Indian state in Madhya Pradesh with a GDP of ~US$130bn. That makes it broadly the same size as Kuwait.

  • The 15th largest Indian state is Punjab with a GDP of ~US$78bn. This makes it slightly bigger than Sri Lanka and smaller than Kenya.

  • The 20th largest Indian state is Uttarakhand with a GDP of ~US$36bn. This is broadly the same size as that of Nepal.

  • Bangladesh has a higher GDP than either Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat. A city-state like Singapore has a higher GDP than every Indian state except Maharashtra.

In terms of Per Capita GDP

  • Goa has the highest Per Capita GDP in the country at ~US$7,300. This is slightly lower than Thailand (per Capita GDP ~US$7,800).

  • The fifth richest Indian state is Telangana with a per Capita GDP of ~US$3,500. This is the same as the Philippines and slightly higher than Vietnam.

  • The 10th richest Indian state is Maharashtra, the state with the largest GDP. Maharashtra has a per Capita GDP of ~US$3,200. Maharashtra is thus slightly poorer than Bhutan (per Capita GDP ~US$3,400) but slightly richer than Egypt (per Capita GDP ~US$3,050).

  • The 15th richest Indian state is Arunachal Pradesh with a per Capita GDP of ~US$2,500. That makes it ~10% richer than Nigeria.

  • The 20th richest Indian state is West Bengal (the 4th most populous state) and it has a per Capita GDP lower than Kenya, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.

Quiz: What will be the rank of Maharashtra, the largest Indian state in terms of GDP, in global GDP ranking?

Answer in the next post.