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Gross Domestic Product vs. Gross National Product — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Published on February 8, 2024
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the value of all goods and services produced within a country's borders, while Gross National Product (GNP) includes the value of all goods and services produced by a country's residents, regardless of the location.
Gross Domestic Product vs. Gross National Product — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Gross Domestic Product and Gross National Product


Key Differences

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a key indicator of a country's economic performance, focusing solely on the economic activities within its geographical boundaries. Gross National Product (GNP), on the other hand, extends beyond borders, accounting for the total economic output of a nation's residents, including those living abroad.
The distinction between Gross Domestic Product and Gross National Product lies in their scope of measurement. GDP includes the economic activities within a country, making it a measure of domestic productivity. GNP adds to this by including the income earned by residents from overseas investments, minus the income earned within the domestic economy by foreign residents.
One of the critical differences between Gross Domestic Product and Gross National Product is their relevance to global businesses and investors. GDP provides a snapshot of a country's internal economic health, while GNP offers insight into the overall economic strength of a nation's residents, regardless of where their economic activities take place.
In terms of policy-making and economic analysis, Gross Domestic Product is often preferred for its clear representation of a country's economic activity within its borders. Gross National Product, however, provides valuable insights into the global economic contributions of a nation's residents, making it essential for understanding a country's global economic footprint.
Both Gross Domestic Product and Gross National Product are crucial for economic planning and policy formulation. While GDP is a vital measure for assessing domestic economic performance and policy impact, GNP provides a broader perspective, encompassing the global economic activities of a nation's residents.

Comparison Chart


Value of goods and services within a country
Value of goods and services by nationals

Measurement Focus

Domestic boundaries
Global activities of residents

Economic Indicators

Domestic economic health
Economic strength of nationals

Impact of Foreign Investments

Excluded from GDP
Included in GNP, if by nationals

Use in Economic Analysis

Preferred for domestic policy
Used for global economic contribution

Compare with Definitions

Gross Domestic Product

Affects government policy and investment decisions.
An increase in Gross Domestic Product often leads to higher government spending.

Gross National Product

Measures national income from domestic and foreign sources.
Gross National Product accounts for the income expatriates send back home.

Gross Domestic Product

Indicator of economic health and growth within a nation.
Policymakers use Gross Domestic Product to gauge the economy's performance.

Gross National Product

Total economic output of a country's residents, including abroad.
The Gross National Product includes earnings of citizens working overseas.

Gross Domestic Product

Total value of goods and services produced within a country.
The Gross Domestic Product of the country grew by 3% last quarter.

Gross National Product

Reflects the global economic activity of a nation's residents.
A multinational's overseas profits contribute to the home country's Gross National Product.

Gross Domestic Product

Reflects the economic output within a country's borders.
A rise in Gross Domestic Product signifies an expanding domestic economy.

Gross National Product

Used to assess the economic contribution of nationals worldwide.
Innovations by nationals abroad are included in the country's Gross National Product.

Gross Domestic Product

Used to compare economic performance between countries.
The Gross Domestic Product per capita provides insight into living standards.

Gross National Product

Indicator of a nation's global economic influence.
A high Gross National Product suggests strong global economic ties.

Common Curiosities

What does GNP stand for?

GNP stands for Gross National Product.

How is GDP calculated?

GDP is calculated by adding up all the goods and services produced within a country's borders.

What does GDP stand for?

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product.

Can GDP and GNP give different pictures of an economy?

Yes, especially if a country has significant income from nationals working abroad or foreign investments.

Does GDP include foreign company earnings within a country?

Yes, GDP includes the value of goods and services produced by all companies within a country's borders.

What's included in GNP?

GNP includes all goods and services produced by a nation's residents, both domestically and abroad.

Why is GDP important?

GDP is important as it provides a clear picture of a country's internal economic activity and health.

Does a higher GDP mean a healthier economy?

Generally, yes, but it must be analyzed in context with other economic indicators.

Are GDP and GNP used together?

Yes, they can be used together to provide a comprehensive view of an economy's performance.

How do natural disasters affect GDP and GNP?

Natural disasters can decrease GDP by reducing production; GNP might also be affected if nationals abroad contribute to recovery.

Which is better: GDP or GNP?

Neither is "better"; they serve different purposes in economic analysis.

How does GNP differ from GDP?

GNP includes income from nationals' overseas activities, while GDP focuses on domestic economic activity.

How do investments affect GDP and GNP?

Domestic investments increase GDP, while investments by nationals abroad increase GNP.

What impact do remittances have on GNP?

Remittances from nationals living abroad can significantly increase a country's GNP.

Is GDP a measure of a country's wealth?

GDP measures economic activity, not wealth directly, but it can indicate economic health and potential wealth.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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