Just The Facts

Wealth Per Person: Where the U.S. Stays Ahead of China

On one metric, China will still trail the U.S. economy for the rest of this century.

Credit: Kalexander2010 - www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • Across three decades, China lifted an astounding 500 million people out of poverty.
  • Despite transformative economic growth, China’s per capita income remains only a fraction of the US level.
  • China’s burgeoning population will always hold it back from reaching the per capita GDP levels of the US.

1. China’s three and a half decades of remarkable economic growth have lifted about 500 million people out of poverty, according to the World Bank.

2. Despite this transformation, however, China’s per capita income remains only a fraction of the U.S. level.

3. In 2014, China’s per capita GDP of $12,890 (measured at purchasing power parity) was less than a fourth of U.S. per capita GDP ($54,680).

4. China’s per capita GDP will grow at nearly double the U.S. rate (an average of 3.4% per year, compared to 1.8%) between 2014 and 2050, based on new forecasts of long-term economic growth by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

5. Even so, China’s per capita GDP will equal only 42% of the U.S. level by 2050.

6. Even if China’s growth advantage remains this large for the rest of the century, its per capita GDP will still only reach about 90% of U.S. per capita GDP.

Sources: The World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers with additional analysis by The Globalist Research Center.

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