Biggest and most productive economy
Biggest and most productive economy

The Chinese may buy more Prada handbags these days than most Americans, but the U.S. is still the world's biggest and most productive economy in the world.

Around this time last year, China passed Japan to become the world's second-largest economy. But while many analysts say the East Asian giant could eventually surpass the U.S. by 2027, most Americans are still far richer than most Chinese. China's GDP per capita was $4,393 in 2010, while the U.S. is much wealthier at $47,184 per capita, according to the World Bank.

The U.S. is also the most productive economy in the world, with just as much output in a year ($14.6 trillion) as the next three biggest economies -- Japan, China and Germany. Admittedly, while American workers are the world's most productive on an output per person basis, Norway in 2010 produced 25% more per hour (the best measure of productivity) than the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Last updated September 22 2011: 7:19 AM ET