Economic Trivia

South Africa has the largest economy in Africa.

Trade Source: United Nations Comtrade
Note: Top 3 trade partners are calculated by imports + exports.

Top 3 Trade Partners (2016): China, Germany, and United States
Top 3 Exported Goods (2016): Precious Stones & Metals, Motor Vehicles & Parts, and Ores

Top Industries Source: CIA World Factbook

Mining (Platinum, Gold, Chromium); Automobile Assembly; Metalworking; Machinery

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [1]

GDP, PPP (current international) $739,419,184,416 (2016)
GDP Growth Rate (annual %) 0.279% (2016)
GDP Per Capita, PPP (current international) $13,225 (2016)
Click on a row to display its 5-year graph on the right.

GDP Country Rank 29/194 (2016)

GDP Composition %

Note: GDP composition percentage may exceed 100. Manufacturing is included in the Industry figures and is also reported separately because it plays a critical role in many economies.

Economic Indicators [1]

Inflation, consumer prices (annual %) 6.326% (2016)
External debt stocks, total (DOD, current US$) $146,040,322,000 (2016)
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits) 28.9% (2017)
Real Interest Rate (5 year average %) 3.431% (2016)
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP) 13.372% (2016)
Current Account Balance (BoP, current US$) ($9,478,627,773) (2016)
Click on a row to display its 5-year graph on the right.

Labor and Employment [1]

Labor Force, Total 21,545,317 (2017)
Employment in Agriculture (% of total employment) 5.59% (2015)
Employment in Industry (% of total employment) 23.85% (2015)
Employment in Services (% of total employment) 70.54% (2015)
Unemployment Rate 25.998% (2017)
Click on a row to display its 5-year graph on the right.

Trade [1]

Imports of goods and services (current US$) $88,971,352,042 (2016)
Exports of goods and services (current US$) $89,401,819,220 (2016)
Total Merchandise Trade (% of GDP) 56.529% (2016)
FDI, net inflows (BoP, current US$) $2,250,190,584 (2016)
Commercial Service Exports (current US$) $13,972,748,248 (2016)
Click on a row to display its 5-year graph on the right.

Economic Snapshot [1]

Note: Percentile ranks are calculated using the latest available data for all countries within the last 5 years.

How to interpret the graph: The purpose of this graph is to take a snapshot of a country’s economy in comparison to other economies. For example, South Africa’s Exports rank is higher than (please wait...) of the countries in the dataset. For Exports, FDI and GDP measures, a higher rank (closer to 100%) indicates a stronger economy. Conversely, for Unemployment and Inflation, a lower rank (closer to 0%) indicates a stronger economy.

Due to unavailable data the following indicators have been omitted:
  • Exports
  • FDI, net inflows
  • GDP Growth Rate
  • GDP Per Capita
  • Inflation
  • Unemployment


  1. The World Bank