Economic measures of success like gross domestic product (GDP) are a crude way to judge countries. They tell you about the level of economic activity, but not necessarily whether nations are bettering people’s lives.
U.S. GDP, for example, lumps together the sale of children’s books and the sale of handguns, even though one is generally good for society and the other often isn't. GDP also doesn’t account for impacts to public health or the environment. Neither does it tell you if a lot of people are doing well or just a few people.