Is This Video a BBC Report About India's GDP? No, Claim Is Misleading

BBC did not publish anything about India's GDP, this data is from a book written by economist Angus Maddison,

3 min read
Hindi Female

A video is going viral on social media, which shows that India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was the highest in the world from 1 AD to 1700s AD, when compared to China, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • It also shows that India's GDP dropped after 'the British looted India's wealth'.

  • The users are claiming that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has published this report.

BBC did not publish anything about India's GDP, this data is from a book written by economist Angus Maddison,

An archive can be found here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

(Archives of similar claims can be found here and here.)

What is the truth?: This report is not published by the BBC but by video-producing company called Vishuddhi Films.

  • The data shown in the video is derived from a book named 'The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective' written by economist Angus Maddison in 2001.


How did we find out the truth?: We noticed that the video shows 'Angus Maddison Report' written above the GDP data.

BBC did not publish anything about India's GDP, this data is from a book written by economist Angus Maddison,

The source of the data is stated to be 'Angus Maddison Report'.

(Source: Altered by The Quint)

  • Taking a cue, we performed a relevant keyword search and found out the PDF version of the original book by Maddison.

  • This book, named 'The World Economy A Millennial Perspective', states about the growth and levels of world population since the year 1000.

  • The book was published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and it did not have any affiliation with BBC, as claimed.

Reports about Maddison's data: We found an article posted by Mint on 17 August 2017.

  • The report also stated similar data about GDP of different countries and stated that according to Maddison, India’s share in the world economy declined from 24.4 percent in 1500 to 4.2 percent in 1950.

  • The report credited this data to Maddison’s 2007 book Contours Of The World Economy, 1-2030 AD, table A.6 in Statistical Appendix A.

  • The report goes on to mention about Maddison admitting about his data being built on 'a range of estimates, approximations and projections'.

Any similar report by BBC?: We did not find any report published by BBC carrying similar data about India's GDP rate.

  • We found an article from 2015 carrying Maddison's data about GDP on different countries but it did not match the data shown in the claim.

More about the viral video: We came across the longer version of the same video on Facebook.

  • This was shared by a page named 'Vishuddhi Films' on 28 December 2022.

  • The viral video starts at 0:44 timestamp in this version.

  • The caption mentioned about how the British are responsible for India's poverty.

  • We did not find any mention of BBC here.


We have also reached out to BBC and the article will be update once we receive a reply from them.

Conclusion: A misleading claim about BBC publishing data about India's GDP role in the world economy is going viral.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  BBC   Fact Check   Webqoof 

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