How to Graph the GDP

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Graphing gross domestic product (GDP) allows you to see how a country is growing or shrinking in its economy. The GDP provides a snapshot of all the money a country produces through selling products and services and exporting and importing. The higher the GDP, the larger the country's economy. You can view two different countries on a graph for a visual representation of how their GDPs are growing or shrinking.

Write the years on the bottom of the graph from the GDP data you have from left to right. For instance, to graph 1960 through 2011, write each year along the x-axis (horizontal axis) of the graph.

Write the smallest GDP figure from all countries' data on the bottom of the axis on the left side, the y-axis. Write the largest GDP figure on the top of the y-axis. Label the lines in between with their corresponding figures.

Plot each point from your data on the graph for the first country. For example, if you have 1960 and $500, then find 1960 on the x-axis of the graph and put a point where that line and $500 on the y-axis intersect.

Connect each dot to see the linear progression of the data for the first country.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for each country's GDP until all countries are graphed.

Tips

  • Google offers an interactive GDP graph, which allows users to select the countries for inclusion by checking a box on the page (see Resources).