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GDP vs. NDP: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 7, 2024
GDP (Gross Domestic Product) measures a country's total economic output, while NDP (Net Domestic Product) is GDP minus depreciation on a country's capital goods.

Key Differences

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, represents the total value of all goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific period. NDP, or Net Domestic Product, deducts the depreciation of capital goods from the GDP, reflecting the wear and tear on assets.
GDP is a primary indicator used to gauge the health of a country's economy. NDP, while similar, offers a slightly more accurate reflection of economic health by accounting for the depreciation of capital.
In calculating GDP, all economic activities, including the production of goods and services, are considered, regardless of their impact on capital assets. NDP adjusts this figure by subtracting depreciation, acknowledging that some economic output is used to maintain or replace capital assets.
GDP is often used in international comparisons as it provides a broad measure of economic activity. NDP, being more refined, is helpful for understanding the sustainable production level of an economy.
GDP can sometimes overstate a country's economic performance (as it doesn't account for depreciation of assets), while NDP offers a more conservative and perhaps realistic view by including this important factor.

Comparison Chart


Total value of goods and services produced
GDP minus depreciation on capital goods

Depreciation Accounting

Does not deduct for depreciation
Deducts depreciation from GDP

Economic Health Measure

Broad measure of economic activity
More accurate reflection of sustainable production

Use in Analysis

Used for international economic comparisons
Used for understanding real economic growth

Reflects on Capital

Ignores the aging or wearing out of capital
Accounts for the aging or wearing out of capital

GDP and NDP Definitions


GDP is the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country.
The GDP of the country increased by 3% last year.


NDP is a more realistic measure of a country's economic health than GDP.
Economists prefer NDP for long-term economic planning.


GDP measures the economic performance of a country.
Analysts use GDP to assess the economic health of nations.


NDP gives a clearer indication of actual economic improvement.
The country's NDP increased, indicating sustainable economic growth.


GDP is used as a key indicator for the economy's size and health.
A rising GDP indicates a growing economy.


NDP is GDP minus depreciation on fixed assets.
NDP provides a more accurate picture of economic growth, accounting for asset depreciation.


GDP does not account for the depreciation of capital assets.
Despite its growth, the country's GDP does not reflect the wear and tear of its infrastructure.


NDP reflects the net production of a country, considering capital wear and tear.
A stable NDP suggests efficient use and maintenance of the country’s capital assets.


GDP includes all private and public consumption, government outlays, investments, and exports minus imports.
GDP takes into account both consumer spending and government expenditures.


NDP adjusts GDP for the loss of the value of capital goods over time.
The nation's NDP decreased due to significant capital depreciation.


Measure of the United States economy adopted in 1991; the total market values of goods and services by produced by workers and capital within the United States borders during a given period (usually 1 year)


What is NDP?

NDP stands for Net Domestic Product, which is GDP minus depreciation on capital goods.

How is NDP different from GDP?

NDP differs from GDP by accounting for the depreciation of capital goods, offering a more accurate reflection of economic health.

Why is GDP important?

GDP is important as it provides a broad overview of a country's economic activity and health.

Can GDP grow while NDP falls?

Yes, if capital depreciation is high, GDP can grow while NDP falls.

Why is NDP less commonly used than GDP?

NDP is less common because GDP provides a simpler, though less accurate, overview of economic size and health.

Are GDP and NDP used together for economic analysis?

Yes, both GDP and NDP can be used together for a more comprehensive economic analysis.

How often are GDP and NDP calculated?

GDP and NDP are typically calculated quarterly and annually.

What is GDP?

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product, measuring a country's total economic output.

Which is a better indicator of economic sustainability, GDP or NDP?

NDP is a better indicator of economic sustainability as it accounts for capital depreciation.

Do GDP and NDP include international transactions?

GDP includes international transactions, but only those within the country's borders; NDP adjusts these figures for capital depreciation.

Is NDP a better measure for environmental impacts?

Yes, NDP can be a better measure for environmental impacts as it accounts for resource depletion.

Does GDP consider asset depreciation?

No, GDP does not consider the depreciation of assets.

Is NDP always lower than GDP?

Typically, yes, as NDP subtracts depreciation from the GDP.

Does GDP measure individual wealth or happiness?

No, GDP does not measure individual wealth or happiness directly.

How do countries use GDP and NDP data?

Countries use GDP and NDP data for economic planning, policy-making, and international comparisons.

How does inflation affect GDP and NDP?

Inflation can inflate GDP figures, but real GDP and NDP are adjusted to account for inflation.

How does government spending affect GDP and NDP?

Government spending increases both GDP and NDP, but NDP adjusts for the depreciation of any capital used in that spending.

Can GDP misrepresent the actual economic situation?

Yes, GDP can sometimes misrepresent the actual economic situation by not accounting for depreciation.

Can a country have a high GDP but low NDP?

Yes, a country can have a high GDP and low NDP if it has high capital depreciation.

Can NDP indicate the need for investment in capital goods?

Yes, a decreasing NDP can indicate a need for greater investment in maintaining or upgrading capital goods.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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