GDP is the most misunderstood finance term, Google search data reveals

by | Jan 29, 2023

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‘Gross Domestic Product’ (GDP) is the most misunderstood finance term worldwide, with an average of over 165,000 searches each month for its definition

That’s according to new research by City Index. In this study, the experts utilised search analytics tool, Ahrefs, to discover how often on average the definition of the 50 most common finance terms is searched for each year.

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The results:

RankFinance termAverage yearly worldwidesearchesAverage monthly worldwide searches 
1Gross Domestic Product1,995,600166,300
6Net worth769,20064,100

Please find the full data set attached here, including all finance definitions.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the most misunderstood finance term

City Index can reveal that GDP is the most misunderstood finance term with an average of 166,300 monthly searches for ‘GDP definition’. This is over a quarter (27.2%) more searches than ‘acquisition’ in second place with 130,700 monthly searches. ‘GDP meaning’ is Googled most often in India (23% of all searches), the Philippines (12%), the US (12%) and the UK (6%).


*Definition: (GDP) “The total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.”

The finance term, acquisition is the second most searched for, averaging 130,700 monthly Google searches each year. This is 17.3% more than equity in third place with 111,400 monthly searches. Interestingly, 5% of all searches for ‘acquisition definition’ come from the UK. 

*Definition: An acquisition is when one company purchases most or all of another company’s shares to gain control of that company.”


Equity ranks third with an average of 111,400 monthly searches for its definition, with 6% of these searches coming from the UK. The definition of equity is Googled 16% more than the term principal in fourth place with 96,000 monthly searches.

*Definition: “Equity refers to partial ownership in a company or assets after subtracting all debts that are associated.”

Capital is the tenth most misunderstood finance term

Ranking in tenth place is the financial term capital with an average of 28,000 searches for its definition each month. Capital is commonly misinterpreted for a similar term ‘asset’ which ranks fifth in our table, with 8% of Google searches for the definition of ‘capital’ coming just from the UK population.

*Definition: “The capital of a business is the money it has available to fund its day-to-day operations and to bankroll its expansion for the future. The proceeds of its business are one source of capital.”

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