Despite the optimism the robust growth rate of recent years may generate, closer
inspection is warranted. SSA economic output remains particularly low, in comparison
to other regions. The region is home to almost 1 billion people,20 however, SSA’s total
GDP valued in purchasing power parity lies between that of Germany and Brazil.
Population growth is also rapid in SSA, the region of the world with the highest
population growth rate. As a result, GDP growth per capita has been lower than total
GDP growth. In the 2000s, SSA enjoyed the world’s third highest increase in GDP per
capita (in PPP and in percentage points), after south Asia and east Asia and the
Pacific,21 but its growth rate was in fact only almost half the rate of these two regions.