Gross domestic product (GDP)

the statistical measure of the total economic value of all the goods and services produced by an economy in a given year. The size and rate of growth of GDP are often taken as indicators of the level of development acheived by a society. GDP also contains many items such as spending to clean up environmental damage, treat drug addicts, keep criminals in jail, etc., that reflects social difficulties rather than social well-being. GDP excludes important items such as the unpaid costs of the environmental damage and the lost value of depleted natural resources. [fn]Source: (IISD 2005) from IISD website; (updated: Aug 2005)[/fn]