Gross Domestic Product

This Explainer explores how the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is used in measuring our economic growth and whether alternative measures are also needed to provide a more comprehensive outlook of economic progress. What is GDP and How Is It Used? GDP measures the output of goods and services...
01/29/2013
Publication
  Ahead of Rio+20, advocates are coalescing around the idea that we need to change the way we measure what is important to achieve true sustainable development. Currently countries measure economic growth, which is often equated with progress, through GDP. However, growth in GDP is...
06/14/2012
News/Resource
At a United Nations conference this week, world leaders look beyond economic output to measure the progress and well-being of a nation. The Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigmi Thinley, presided over the United Nations (U.N.) conference in a beautiful gold and ruby striped gho. Thinley is a small man...
04/05/2012
News/Resource
GDP measures economic growth, but is it an accurate measure of progress? While GDP has been steadily increasing, indicating a growing economy, other metrics of progress show a very different picture. Demos’ report, Beyond GDP, makes the case for why GDP is an incomplete measure and explains in...
01/25/2012
Publication
One of the fatal flaws of GDP is that it does not recognize environmental costs of economic activity, and these costs are often left for society to pay while some costs are passed down to future generations. The United States’ “ecological footprint”—its consumption of resources and burdening of...
01/25/2012
Data Byte
Growth financed by rising debt, not middle class earnings (which have been relatively flat), may be the defining trend of the economy that ran aground in 2008.
01/25/2012
Data Byte
If GDP leaves so much out, how can we really measure our progress? In fact experts have developed many types of alternative indicators that bring us closer to reality. One is the Genuine Progress Indicator, or GPI, which starts with GDP but adjusts the level growth for as many as 26 factors of...
01/25/2012
Data Byte
Our heat-trapping carbon emissions are out of control, rising steadily with economic growth. 
01/25/2012
Data Byte
Year by year with rising growth, our biocapacity—the availability of resources and waste absorption capacity in a given area—has steadily declined. The environmental equivalent of financing current consumption with our retirement savings, we are spending down our natural wealth at a rate that...
01/25/2012
Data Byte
One of the fatal flaws of GDP is that it does not recognize environmental costs of economic activity, and these costs are often left for society to pay while some costs are passed down to future generations. The United States’ “ecological footprint”—its consumption of resources and burdening of...
01/25/2012
Data Byte
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