Text from the Indicator Report 2022
In 2021, the price adjusted GDP was 38,509 euros per capita and, thus, 2.6 % higher than in the previous year. Between 1991 and 2021, price-adjusted GDP per head of population increased by a total of 38.8 %. In consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the price adjusted GDP per head of population decreased in 2020 by 3.8 %. Only in 2009, price adjusted per capita GDP fell by 5.4 % as a result of the global financial and economic crisis and, thus, decreased to a larger extent. The absent definition for appropriate and continuous economic growth causes the consideration of the average annual change for the preceding five years. These was 0.7 %. Therefore, the indicator developed in a positive direction long-term.
Considering the results of the German Länder, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania had the lowest (26,500 euros) and Hamburg had the highest (59,700 euros) real GDP per capita.
GDP expresses the value of total economic output produced within the country in a reference period. It focuses primarily on market goods and services and public goods and services. The value of GDP is determined quarterly and annually by the Federal Statistical Office and the statistical offices of the Länder on the basis of internationally harmonised rules and standards, such as the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA).
GDP is a key variable in the national accounts. The national accounts are the consolidation of several accounts that portray the economic activity of a given period. The results are recorded in the form of a closed sequence of accounts and presented in tables. The national accounts calculations were last reviewed and revised in 2019 as part of their periodic major revision, and the reference year was changed to 2015. This resulted in new rates of change for real gross domestic product as a whole. The overall economic picture, however, has remained largely unchanged.
GDP is not designed to portray all of the social aspects that can be included in a measurement of overall well-being. If these variables are to be measured too, Additional indicators are needed that are specifically designed for these purposes. This includes e.g. environmental economic accounts that portray the interactions between the economy and the environment and indicators showing, for example, the volume of unpaid work in households. Furthermore, the distribution of income and assets among different population groups is not shown by GDP either.
Stock changes are not reflected in GDP, except in the case of capital stock resulting from the calculation of investments and depreciation. Key economic variables like quantities and qualities of human capital, such as education and health, of social capital, such as security and integration, and of natural capital, such as resources and ecosystems, are not factored into GDP. It is therefore impossible to conclude whether GDP and its growth have served to preserve capital in the fullest sense. This means that GDP cannot be used to gauge the sustainability of economic growth.
The basis for the calculation of per capita GDP comprise the average population figures interpolated and extrapolated by the Federal Statistical Office from the 2011 census data.