Data and Statistics

Data and statistical analysis in the Asia and Pacific region contribute to knowledge generation in ADB, helping strengthen its institutional priorities and operational effectiveness in its developing member economies.

International Comparison Program (ICP) for Asia and the Pacific

The International Comparison Program (ICP) is the largest global statistical initiative under the auspices of the United Nations Statistical Commission, established to provide comparable price and volume measures of national accounts aggregates across economies of the world.

The ICP produces purchasing power parities (PPPs) and related PPP-based estimates of comparable macro-economic aggregates of economies. The World Bank coordinates global-level ICP, while ADB leads the Asia and the Pacific regional component as the Regional Implementing Agency. In the 2021 ICP cycle 176 economies participated globally, while twenty-one economies participated in Asia and the Pacific.

Get the latest estimates on the PPPs and PPP-based estimates of real gross domestic product and other macro-economic aggregates of 21 economies that participated in the 2021 ICP for Asia and the Pacific. Detailed tables and data are now available.

Analyses of the key results from the 2021 ICP in the region can be explored in the forthcoming report on the 2021 International Comparison Program in Asia and the Pacific.

Basic Concepts

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

The amount of currency units required to purchase a common basket of goods and services in an economy that can be purchased with one unit of the reference currency in the reference economy.

Price Level Index (PLI)

The ratio of PPPs to exchange rates with respect to a common currency. PLI expresses the general price level in an economy as percentage of reference economy's price level.

Real Expenditure

Expenditure in local currency units converted into a common currency unit using purchasing power parities.

Nominal Expenditure

Expenditure in the currency units of an economy converted to common currency using the exchange rate of a reference economy.

Per Capita Expenditure

Total expenditure divided by the total population of a given economy or the reference geography. Per capita expenditure measures standard of living in an economy. This can be expressed either in real or nominal terms.

Transitivity

An important property of PPP whereby the direct PPP between any two economies yields the same result as an indirect comparison via any other economy.

Base Economy Invariance

The property whereby the relativities between the PPPs, PLIs, and volume indexes of economies are not affected by either the choice of currency as numeraire or the choice of reference economy.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

When estimated from expenditure side, GDP is the total value of the final consumption of households, non-profit institutions serving households, and general government, gross capital formation plus balance of exports and imports.

Data

Results presented are figures of the 2021 ICP for the 21 participating economies in Asia and the Pacific with 2021 and revised 2017 data. The 21 economies participating in the ICP Asia and the Pacific are: Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Fiji; Hong Kong, China; India; Indonesia; the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Maldives; Mongolia; Nepal; Pakistan; the People’s Republic of China; the Philippines; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Taipei,China; Thailand; and Viet Nam. Hong Kong, China served as the reference economy and Hong Kong Dollar as the reference currency for the regional comparisons, unless otherwise specified. The revised 2017 ICP results are for 22 economies that participated in the 2017 ICP cycle. These include the above 21 economies that participated in the 2021 ICP and Myanmar. Additional relevant information in each table is available in the notes sheet. View dataset in the Data Library.


* Myanmar was among the 22 participating economies in the 2017 ICP for Asia and the Pacific.

Uses of Purchasing Power Parities

The PPPs obtained through the ICP are used for direct comparisons of well-being indicators such as per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or expenditures, per capita on health, education, and housing, among others, allowing real comparisons of price levels and standards of living and well-being across economies.

Among its major uses is in estimating the international poverty line and extreme poverty incidence* for measuring progress on the Sustainable Development Goals' (SDG) 'No Poverty' goal. Other PPP-based indicators in the SDG framework help monitor targets across several SDG. Some international organizations and economies adopt ICP principles and methods to compare standards of living across and/or within the economy.

  • No Poverty

    Indicator 1.1.1: International poverty threshold of $2.15/day is measured in 2017 PPP terms to ensure that it represents approximately same amount of necessities across economies.

  • Zero Hunger

    Indicator 2.3.1: Productivity of small-scale and large-scale food producers measured in agricultural output per labor-day is in 2017 PPP terms.

    Indicator 2.3.2: Income of small-scale and large scale food producers measured in average income from agriculture is in 2017 PPP terms.

  • Good Health and Well-Being

    Indicator 3.1.1: Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) may not be available in some economies. The MMR for these economies are estimated based on the regression of several health-related variable and GDP in 2017 PPP terms.

    Indicator 3.8.2: This goal includes an indicator of the proportion of population with large household expenditures on health (greater than 10% or 25%) as a share of total household expenditure or income. The total per capita consumption is expressed on a monthly basis in 2017 PPP terms.

  • Quality Education

    Indicator 4.5.4: Education expenditure per student by level of education and source of funding is in 2017 PPP terms.

  • Affordable and Clean Energy

    Indicator 7.3.1: Energy intensity is defined as the energy supplied to the economy per economic value output measured in GDP in 2017 PPP terms.

  • Decent work and Economic Growth

    Indicator 8.2.1: Although the annual growth rate of real GDP per employed person does not require conversion in PPP terms, the International Labour Organization (ILO) also publishes real (PPP-based) GDP per employed person which can be used for cross-economy comparisons.

  • Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

    Indicator 9.4.1: The amount of CO2 emissions per unit of GDP which is in 2017 PPP terms.

    Indicator 9.5.1: Data are converted using purchasing power parities to estimate regional aggregates and global total.

  • Reduced Inequalities

    Indicator 10.1.1: Growth rates of household expenditure or income per capita among the bottom 40 per cent of the population and the total population are available in 2017 PPP terms for cross economy analyses.

  • Sustainable Cities and Communities

    Indicator 11.4.1: The total funding from government and private sources are expressed in 2017 PPP terms.

Photo: Asian Development Bank

World Bank

More than 40 indicators under Poverty, Social Protection & Labor, Economy & Growth, Climate and Energy, Environment, and Health in the World Development Indicators use PPP.


Photo: Asian Development Bank

Human Development Report

PPPs are used to calculate internationally comparable Gross National Income per capita as an input to the "Decent Standard Living" dimension for the following Indices:

  • Human Development Index
  • Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index
  • Gender Development Index

Photo: Asian Development Bank

European Commission

The European Commission use PPP in allocating structural funds to its member countries.


Photo: Asian Development Bank

Global Competitiveness Index

The Global Competitiveness Index’s Pillar 10 (Market Size) uses PPPs to convert Gross Domestic Product and value of Imports of goods/services to be internationally comparable.


Photo: Asian Development Bank

International Monetary Fund

The IMF uses (PPP-converted) real GDP in its current quota formula to determine subscriptions from member economies and share in general allocation of Special Drawing Rights.


Photo: Asian Development Bank

Other Uses

The methods of ICP can be used as a framework for computation of subnational PPPs. One application was done in Viet Nam, where the General Statistics Office computes the PPPs for its cities, provinces, and regions. These subnational PPPs are used to estimate the Spatial Cost of Living Index for 6 regions and 63 cities/provinces.

Product class- or group-level price indices can be used to compare relative prices across economies and to check how these relative prices affect development outcomes. A study published in Journal of Nutrition came up with the measure Relative Caloric Prices (RCPs) and how are these RCPs related to measures of food consumption and other health outcomes such as under/overnutrition.


* currently set at US$2.15 a day (at 2017 PPP)

More on the International Comparison Program

Publications

These reports present the methodologies and results of purchasing power parities (PPPs) across various ICP rounds in Asia and the Pacific; in addition to studies on poverty-specific PPPs, integrating ICP with the Consumer Price Index as a framework for subnational PPPs, and alternative approaches for estimating PPPs for non-benchmark years in the region.

Book cover: 2017 International Comparison Program for Asia and the Pacific

2017 International Comparison Program for Asia and the Pacific: Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures — Results and Methodology

The report provides a comprehensive account of the 2017 International Comparison Program (ICP) cycle for 22 economies in Asia and the Pacific.

Book cover: Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures

2011 Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures

This report presents the results of purchasing power parities (PPPs) in the 2011 International Comparison Program in Asia and the Pacific and background information on the concepts that underpin the results.