Close behind in second place were European countries trailed by suppliers in North America, Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa, then Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand.
Below are key metric for exporting entities at the continent level. Continents are presented in descending order starting with the highest dollar value for global shipments during 2021. Also shown is each continent’s percentage value compared to the worldwide total.
- Asia: US$9.461 trillion (43.1% of globally exported products)
- Europe: $8.104 trillion (36.9%)
- North America: $2.752 trillion (12.5%)
- Latin America (plus Caribbean minus Mexico): $700.8 billion (3.2%)
- Africa: $522 billion (2.4%)
- Oceania: $406.9 billion (1.9%)
The world’s exported products increased in total value by 25% compared to $17.562 trillion five years earlier in 2017.
The fastest-growing continents from 2017 to 2022 were Oceania (up 44.3%), Asia (up 29.9%), Europe (up 22.8%), then Africa (up 21.6%).
Year over year, global exports accelerated by 25% from $17.487 trillion during 2020.
The strongest continental growth from 2020 to 2021 was spearheaded by exporters in Latin America (up 33.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (up 32.8%), and Oceania (up 32.6%).
Ranking of Continents by Exported Goods per Capita
When it comes to the value of exported products proportioned based on each continent’s population count for 2021, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Case in point: Europe’s population of 745.2 million people falls far short of Asia’s population of 4.7 billion. Nevertheless, exports per capita for Europe equaled $10,875 per person compared to $2,022 per person for the much more populous Asian continent.
The following list shows the average value of continental exports per person. The population for each continent as of July 2018 is shown within parentheses.
- Europe: US$10,875 in exports per capita (745.2 million residents)
- Oceania: $9,143 (44.5 million residents)
- North America: $7,334 (375.3 million residents)
- Asia: $2,022 (4.68 billion residents)
- Latin America (plus Caribbean minus Mexico): $1,062 (660 million residents)
- Africa: $375 (1.4 billion residents)
Africa is the second-most populous continent behind only Asia. Nevertheless, continental Africa sells by far the smallest value in terms of exports per capita.
Despite the fact that the African population is more than twice than that for Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, the Latin American score for exports per capita is almost three times higher than for the much more populated African continent.
Another root cause for the stark differences in the average value of exports per capita comes down to the predominant types of products that each continent ships. For instance, the most valuable exported for Europe is cars which generates a much higher per-unit cost compared to electronic circuits and mobile phones for Asia, iron ores for Oceania, and crude oil for Africa.
See also Major Exports by Continent, Top African Export Countries, Top Oceanian Export Countries and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, Population statistics by country. Accessed on October 4, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on October 4, 2022
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on October 4, 2022
Wikipedia, List of countries and dependencies by population. Accessed on October 4, 2022