China has surpassed the US as the world’s biggest economy for the first time in history, according to new data from the World Bank.
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.9 per cent last year to $16.5 trillion.
The US grew by 0.7 per cent, and India by 0:1, while China’s growth has been stronger than those of the world leaders who have followed the US since the start of the 21st century.
The new data, released on Monday, is based on an index of real GDP, which excludes the effects of trade, investment and investment flows.
The World Bank says China’s GDP grew at a rate of 2.2 per cent in 2015, which is well above the 1.8 per cent growth seen in the first half of the decade.
But the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the data understates the real impact of China’s rapid economic growth on health and human development.
Its latest World Health Outlook predicts the country’s GDP will expand by 7.6 per cent this year and 7.8 to 9.4 per cent by 2020.
China has the world the largest population of more than 8.2 billion people, and is home to more than two-thirds of the global population.
China ranks among the most economically powerful nations in the world, according the World Economic Forum.
The WHO says the rapid growth of China is contributing to a greater demand for health care services, and an increasing number of people living in urban areas.
It says the WHO will update its “Emerging Health” index, which ranks health systems globally, to be updated in 2019.
The World Health Organization’s World Health Report, which ranked countries on a range of indicators, said China’s “economic success” was a “remarkable achievement”.
China’s economic performance is also leading to “increased investment and trade”, the report said.
“It is expected that this will lead to a more efficient health system and healthier people in the future,” it added.
China also accounts for over one-fifth of global health spending, according data from WHO.
China is on track to become the world leader in health spending by 2030, with $6.3 trillion in spending for all its health services, according WHO.