Policies of Scale: Efficient Global Policy

Some Friday Charts: Changing Global Economic Power and Population

The OECD released today a projection for world GDP share in 2060. If the thought is that share of world GDP is an instrument of power, then things don’t look good for the OECD countries. Conversely, non-OECD countries, in particular the usual suspects China and India, seem to have good things to look forward to:

It’s hard for me to look at that chart and not think about demographic considerations, namely population. After all, economic growth requires a workforce. From UN projections on world population 2100 via a very cool graph from The Guardian:


And specifically:

World population by country. All figures in 000s.

% change, 1950- 2011
% change 2011- 2100
% change, 1950- 2100


Total population (1 July annually interpolated) in thousands – Medium variant Revision 2010 – WUP Revision 2011
Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division: World Population Prospects DEMOBASE extract. 2011

Africa 229,895 1,045,923 3,574,141 354.96 241.72 1,454.68
Asia 1,403,389 4,207,448 4,596,224 199.81 9.24 227.51
Europe 547,287 739,299 674,796 35.08 -8.72 23.30
Latin America and the Caribbean 167,368 596,629 687,517 256.48 15.23 310.78
Northern America 171,615 347,563 526,428 102.53 51.46 206.75
Oceania 12,675 37,175 65,819 193.28 77.05 419.27
World 2,532,229 6,974,036 10,124,926 175.41 45.18 299.84

The massive growth in GDP outside the OECD will likely come from the non-OECD G20 countries, in particular India (China appears to flat line at the 2030 project). However, with a world average increase of roughly 300%, the massive population growth looks likely to be in Africa and island nations. This suggests a number of things, the first to come to mind economic maturation in what we currently consider “developing economies.”

Further, suggesting a link between population and GDP growth, take a look at the chart on the left:

Consider China. It’s GDP growth is projected to stabilize around 2030 and maintain through 2060 while it’s population peaks right around 2030. 2030 is also around the time that its population growth is expected to begin declining.

Lot of interesting stuff to unpack here and not a lot of time today to do it. Nonetheless, I wanted to throw these interesting charts up for consideration.

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