What Was the U.S. GDP Then?
Annual Observations in Table and Graphical Format
1790 to the Present.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the market value of all final goods and services produced and purchased within a country during a given time period. There are two ways to measure GDP:
- Nominal GDP is the value of production at current market prices, here measured in millions of US Dollars.
- Real GDP is the value of production using a given base year prices, here presented at constant (2005) market prices measured in millions of US Dollars.
The GDP Deflator is the price index used to measure changes in the overall level of prices for the goods and services that make up GDP. It is simply the ratio of nominal to real GDP times 100. It is also 100 times the ratio of nominal GDP per capita (per-capita GDP at current market prices) to real GDP per capita (per-capita GDP at constant (2005) market prices).
GDP per capita is calculated by dividing either nominal or real GDP for a given year by the population in that year. These numbers can be thought of as the average share of output per person.
As usual when the BEA adds a new year there are slight changes in the previous few years and so the 2008 to 2011 years are slightly different than before. The 2012 data are preliminary and in July there will be a change in definitions by the BEA that may impact the numbers as far back as 1929.
For information about the construction of these data see
"Source and Techniques Used in the Construction of Annual GDP, 1790 - Present."
Louis Johnston and Samuel H. Williamson, "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?"
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