Top Countries With the Fastest-Growing Economies: Emerging Markets on the Rise

If you’re curious about the top countries with the Fastest-Growing Economies, then you’re in the right place. But before we delve into our top 20 list, let’s unpack what’s been going on globally.

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is like the financial heartbeat of a country. The stronger it beats, the healthier the economy. The world’s collective GDP saw a bit of a dip, moving from a 3.3% growth in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023. However, experts are optimistic about a bounce back, forecasting a 2.9% growth by 2024. And guess what? Easing COVID-19 restrictions in China and more affordable energy prices are the wind beneath these hopeful wings.

You might’ve already seen our piece on the 20 Largest Economies by 2050. We highlighted some up-and-comers from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. While Asia, with giants like China, India, and Indonesia, often steals the limelight, it’s high time we also recognize Africa and some unsung heroes in the Caribbean and Oceania.

Speaking of standouts, Guyana is turning heads. Since 2018, this South American nation has been on an economic sprint, boasting a jaw-dropping 62.3% growth in 2023 alone. Why the sudden rush? One word: Oil. Exxon Mobil’s massive discovery off Guyana’s coast in 2015 has literally fueled this growth.

But let’s not forget about Africa. Despite hurdles like the pandemic and geopolitical tiffs like the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Africa is staying sturdy. With a 3.8% GDP growth in 2022 and more expected, Africa’s rich minerals are drawing major mining players. Think giants like AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, and Sasol, which have made their mark globally.

Asia, however, isn’t loosening its grip as an economic behemoth. Many western brands, like Apple, are making their mark here. Fun fact: 95% of Apple’s devices, from iPhones to Macs, are crafted in China. Apple’s also planting its flag in India with its first store in bustling Mumbai. And Microsoft? They’re not too far behind, betting big on regions like Indonesia and the UAE.

But it’s not just Western giants soaring in Asia. Home-grown champions like Alibaba are defining e-commerce, and Toyota’s driving ahead in the automobile industry. Plus, India’s very own Reliance Industries is now rubbing shoulders with global bigwigs like BMW and Nestle.

All in all, the global economic landscape is bustling, dynamic, and packed with stories of grit, innovation, and growth. And trust me, there’s a lot more where that came from!

The Approach We Follow

Wondering which countries have been on a financial hot streak over the last five years? We’ve got you covered! We’ve crunched the numbers and pulled together a list of the top 20 countries making waves in the economic scene between 2018 and 2022.

Using data from our trusty friends at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), we’ve focused on the real deal – the real GDP growth rates. We averaged these growth rates over the five-year period to see who’s been consistently surging ahead. And just to keep things fair and square, if two countries ended up neck and neck, we used their 2022 growth rate as a tiebreaker.

Alright, enough with the build-up. Let’s dive into the list and see which nations have been economically rockin’ it in the past half-decade!

Top Countries With the Fastest-Growing Economies

1. Guyana

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 27.14%

Guess who’s been crushing it in the GDP growth game? Guyana! With an eye-popping average real GDP growth of 27.14% over the past five years, they’ve shot to the top of our list. And in 2022 alone? Their economy surged by a mind-blowing 62.3%. The secret sauce behind this boom? Good ol’ crude oil exports.

Flashback to a few years ago, and Guyana was among the less affluent nations in South America. But all that started to change around 2015. Thanks to Exxon Mobil Corporation, massive oil reserves were unearthed, turning the country’s fortune on its head. Now, Guyana is pumping out a whopping 360,000 barrels of oil daily, with a significant chunk finding its way to European shores.

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2. Ireland

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 9.14%

Guess who’s been making waves in the European Union with their economic growth? Yep, it’s Ireland! They’ve been on a roll, especially in 2021 and 2022, boasting impressive GDP growth rates of 13.6% and 12%. And if we step back and look at the bigger picture from 2018 to 2022, they’ve been growing at a steady average of 9.14%. Hats off to Ireland for clinching the second spot on the global leaderboard for the highest economic growth over the past five years.

3. Tajikistan

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 7.36%

Tajikistan is making waves as one of Asia’s quickest rising economic stars. With a sturdy backbone in exports, particularly cotton, gold, and aluminum, this country’s economic trajectory has been nothing short of impressive. Looking at the past five years since 2018, the average real GDP growth clocks in at a solid 7.36%. And it’s not slowing down – 2022 saw an even higher growth of 8%, based on data from the IMF. Cheers to Tajikistan’s thriving economy!

4. Maldives

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 7.12%

The Maldives is on a roll! As South Asia’s fastest-growing economy, it’s been clocking an impressive average growth of 7.12% annually since 2018. So, what’s the secret sauce? Tourism. Last year alone, around 1.6 million travelers flocked to this island paradise. And it’s no wonder why. Nestled in the Indian Ocean, with India and Sri Lanka as its neighbors and just 750 km away from mainland Asia, the Maldives boasts breathtaking beaches that are a hit with honeymooners. If you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway, this is the place to be!

5. Ethiopia

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 7.1%

Situated in the heart of East Africa, Ethiopia is a country making waves! Only second to Nigeria in terms of population, this vibrant nation is also among the quickest growing economies in the region. Guess what? It snagged the fifth spot on our list of countries with the most robust economic growth over the past 5 years. And it’s not just us saying it: the IMF reports that Ethiopia’s economy expanded by a cool average of 7.1% from 2018 to 2022. Way to go, Ethiopia!

6. Bangladesh

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 6.52%

Heads up, South Asia! Bangladesh is making some serious economic moves. In 2023, its GDP is set to grow by a solid 5.3%. What’s even more impressive? Over the past half-decade, the economy has been buzzing with a growth of over 6.5%. Among the top economic performers in the region, like Maldives and India, Bangladesh stands tall. And here’s the kicker: it’s zoomed past both India and Pakistan in GDP per capita. Way to shine, Bangladesh!

7. Rwanda

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 6.48%

Despite its challenges, Rwanda is proving that it’s a nation of resilience and potential. While it’s among the world’s poorer countries, its economic trajectory tells a promising story. Take away the hiccup in 2020, when the GDP dipped by 3.8%, and you’ll see Rwanda’s economy has been on the rise, boasting an average growth of 6.48% in the past five years. The energy was palpable in 2021 with a whopping 10.9% growth, and even though 2022 saw a bit of a slowdown to 6.8%, Rwanda’s spirit remains unshaken. Keep an eye on this one!

8. Benin

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 6.12%

Nestled in West Africa, Benin is a vibrant French-speaking gem with over 13 million people calling it home. And guess what? Their economy has been on fire! Over the past five years since 2018, they’ve managed to clock in a solid growth of over 6%. Kudos, Benin!

9. Niger

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.82%

Niger is making headlines lately, and unfortunately, it’s not all good news. Amidst a whirlwind of political and geopolitical challenges stemming from a recent military coup, the nation’s future seems a bit uncertain. It’s a tough blow, especially since the country had started bouncing back from the pandemic, boasting an impressive GDP growth rate of over 11% last year. Here’s hoping for brighter days ahead for Niger!

10. Vietnam

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.68%

Hold onto your hats, because Vietnam is zooming onto the global economic stage! PwC forecasts that between 2016 and 2050, Vietnam is set to be one of the top three speediest growing economies. And by 2050? They’re on track to be the 20th biggest global player in Purchasing Power Parity terms. And if you’re looking for recent accolades, the IMF confirmed Vietnam rocked an 8% GDP growth just last year. Vietnam is certainly one to watch!

11. Tanzania

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.68%

Tanzania has been on quite the economic roll! For over ten years, it’s been cruising with a growth rate of 6-7% annually, as per the World Bank. But, like many around the globe, Tanzania felt the pandemic’s pinch. Since 2020, the growth has been a tad more modest, lingering below the 5% mark for the past three years. Here’s hoping the Tanzanian economy finds its stride again soon!

12. Côte d’Ivoire

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.5%

Tucked away in West Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, or as many know it, the Ivory Coast, isn’t just rich in culture but also in talent! Think football legends like Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré. But it’s not just football where they shine. With an economy deeply rooted in agriculture, the Ivory Coast has been making economic strides too. Last year, they clocked in a robust 6.7% GDP growth, as confirmed by the IMF. Go, Ivory Coast!

13. Uzbekistan

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.4%

Nestled in Central Asia, Uzbekistan is a treasure trove of resources. From bountiful natural gas to impressive reserves of copper, zinc, lead, and even uranium, this country has it all! And it’s not just sitting on its riches. Between 2018 and 2022, Uzbekistan’s economy grew at a healthy rate of 5.4%, based on our findings. Keep rocking, Uzbekistan!

14. China

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.28%

When it comes to economic heavyweights, China’s certainly in the ring. Holding the title for the world’s largest economy by Purchasing Power Parity, it’s only trailing behind the United States in the nominal GDP game. Quite the financial feat, right? Way to go, China!

15. Nauru

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.22%

Just a hop, skip, and a jump northeast of Australia, you’ll stumble upon Nauru, a quaint island nestled in Micronesia. Over the past five years, their economy has been bustling, growing by 5.22%. They even hit an impressive high in 2019 with a 9.1% growth. Things mellowed a bit to 3% last year, but Nauru is still on the move. Keep an eye on this little gem!

16. Guinea

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 5.1%

Over in West Africa, Guinea is making economic waves! With its vibrant mix of agriculture, mining, fishing, energy, and communications, it’s a buzzing hub of activity. And get this: since 2018, they’ve been enjoying a steady economic climb with an average growth of 5.1%. Way to hustle, Guinea!

17. Egypt

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 4.84%

Egypt’s got its sights set high! By 2050, it’s poised to leapfrog nations like Canada and Italy when we’re talking Purchasing Power Parity. Over the past five years, their economy has been on a roll. In fact, they’ve clinched the 17th spot among countries with the most robust economic growth in that timeframe. Go on, Egypt – keep making those power moves!

18. Armenia

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 4.78%

Armed conflicts can shake any country, and Armenia’s recent tussle with Azerbaijan was no exception. Yet, against the odds, Armenia’s economy has shown some serious grit. Over the past five years, it’s grown by an admirable 4.78%. And here’s a cherry on top: in 2022, the IMF pegged their real GDP growth at a whopping 12.6%. Talk about resilience! Way to bounce back, Armenia!

19. Congo

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 4.76%

Next up, let’s shine a spotlight on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nestled in Central Africa, this nation has been making economic waves recently. Thanks to a boost in exports and some savvy investment in the mining sector, their economy’s been on a steady climb. Hats off to the Congo for its dynamic growth!

20. Georgia

Average Real GDP Growth (2018-2022): 4.72%

Straddling both Asia and Europe, Georgia, once a part of the Soviet bloc, is turning heads with its economic performance. In just the last couple of years, they’ve seen a growth surge of over 10%! And if we rewind a bit further, since 2018, they’ve been steadily growing at an average rate of 4.72% annually. Georgia is certainly on the move and one to watch!


As we close our analysis of the fastest-growing economies, it’s clear that the global economic arena is undergoing a dynamic transformation. These standout countries, each with its unique blend of resources, strategy, and innovation, are reshaping the economic narrative and setting benchmarks for others to follow. Their stories emphasize the importance of a multifaceted approach—embracing technology, prioritizing sustainability, fostering entrepreneurship, and recognizing the value of international collaboration. While various factors contribute to their success, one common thread emerges: adaptability. In a rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt to global shifts, whether technological, environmental, or political, is paramount.

Furthermore, the progress of these nations serves as a testament to the importance of continuous learning and evolution. As other countries study these success stories, they’ll uncover blueprints for fostering growth, boosting employment, and ensuring long-term economic stability. The takeaway? With the right mix of innovation, governance, infrastructure, and education, any nation can transform its economic destiny. As we look ahead, it’s exciting to envision what the next decade holds and which countries will rise to define the next era of global economic growth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is meant by ‘fastest-growing economy’?

A ‘fastest-growing economy’ refers to a country that has seen significant and rapid expansion in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within a specified period, indicating a surge in economic activity and development.

Which countries are currently leading in terms of economic growth?

This can change yearly. However, historically, countries like China, India, and a few from Africa and Southeast Asia have showcased impressive growth rates. It’s essential to refer to the latest global economic reports for up-to-date information.

How is economic growth measured?

Economic growth is typically measured using the annual percentage increase in a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Other indicators can also be considered, such as employment rates and investment influx.

What factors contribute to a country’s rapid economic growth?

Several factors can spur economic growth, including sound governmental policies, infrastructural development, technological advancements, foreign investments, and a favorable business environment.

Is GDP the only indicator of economic success?

While GDP is a primary metric, it’s not the sole indicator. Other factors like employment rates, standard of living, education levels, and overall well-being are equally crucial to gauge a country’s comprehensive economic success.

Do all countries with fast-growing economies have high GDPs?

Not necessarily. A country can have a high growth rate starting from a low GDP base, which means it’s growing quickly, but its overall GDP might still be lower than larger economies.

How does political stability impact economic growth?

Political stability can foster a conducive environment for investments, business operations, and long-term planning, which are vital for sustained economic growth. Conversely, political turmoil can deter investments and hinder growth.

Are developing countries more likely to have faster economic growth than developed ones?

Developing countries often exhibit higher growth rates as they catch up to more developed nations. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “convergence.” However, it doesn’t mean developed countries aren’t growing; their growth is often just steadier and at a lower percentage.

How does technology influence economic growth in these top countries?

Technology can be a significant catalyst for growth, enhancing productivity, opening up new markets, and fostering innovation. Countries that harness the power of technology often see a positive impact on their economies.

Can a country sustain a high growth rate indefinitely?

It’s challenging for a country to maintain an extremely high growth rate forever. As economies mature, growth rates often stabilize and may slow down. Sustainable growth, rather than just rapid growth, is often the aim for long-term economic health.


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