Economic Growth, Population and Poverty Numbers

I normally don’t do numbers. But in this post, I will have to refer to numbers because wealth and poverty have to be understood quantitatively too. So let’s do the numbers.

It is an amazing fact that extreme poverty has fallen both in absolute and relative terms. The world’s population living in extreme poverty has dropped from 42% in 1981 to 11% in 2013. The world population was 4.5 billion in 1981, and 7.2 billion in 2013. Therefore in absolute numbers, extreme poverty numbers dropped from 1.9 billion to 0.8 billion. Over one billion people climbed out of extreme poverty, mostly in China. Good job, China.

The gif below shows the decrease in extreme poverty figures from 1993 to 2013. The greatest decrease has been in China. India, thanks to it abysmally poor leadership, has the largest number of people living under extreme poverty in the world.

China’s story is really, really good. Mao was the idiot but Deng Xiaoping brilliantly rescued China. He will be celebrated as a hero. In India, Modi had the best opportunity to be India’s Xiaoping but he’s evidently not clued in sufficiently to know what he should have and could have done.

The world population is huge. It will reach its peak of 11 billion in a few decades. Here’s a graphic which shows you the distribution of world population now.

Click on the image to get to an interactive version of the image. It shows China’s population as 1.39 billion and India at 1.36 billion.

And now here are the top 10 countries GDP ranking from 1960 to 2017.

Note that in 1966, China’s GDP was $70 billion as compared to India’s GDP of $68 billion. Of course in per capita terms India was actually ahead of China because India had a much smaller population (508 million) than China (725 million.) (Click on the image for more.) Now India’s GDP is a small fraction of China’s GDP. What a sad state of affairs.

Finally some projections for what’s likely to be world GDP from 2018 to 2100. Projecting anything beyond a decade or so is rather pointless because those numbers don’t mean anything in a world where disruptive changes are going to be the norm. So just ignore any projections past say 2030.

China’s GDP will overtake the US GDP in about 10 years. Of course, India will continue to fall behind China rapidly — thanks again to the retards that rule India.

That’s it for now. Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

2 thoughts on “Economic Growth, Population and Poverty Numbers

  1. Namami Sunday December 23, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    Atanu, as a reader of your insightful blog, I have learned and appreciated your views on economics, wealth and prosperity, influenced as you are by the great work of Von Mises, Hayek and others from the Austrian school of thought. I have absorbed and agree that liberty is not that easily understood by everyone, and is the most important fundamental in economics. Structuring government and its policies to minimally intrude with the affairs of free enterprise and personal liberty is the best course for prosperity and perhaps even happiness.

    So how does China end up doing so well? Isn’t it one of the most insidious and insecure nations on earth? Look at the way they treat any foreign company when it comes to their shores. They copy the best ideas and run local corporations that mimic the products, but lock the original products out. For their manufacturing, for decades, they undercut and sold notoriously quality compromised wares to the world until it became too risky with other Asian competitors, and until the western dominated quality control mechanism enforced changes so the distributors didn’t revolt. I abhor the nation for what it is done to the most special place on earth – Tibet. We all know the vulture strategies they propagate on hapless nations saddled with debt to them working through corrupt leaders – Sri Lanka, Maldives and many African nations. The antonym for liberty is China. But look at their economic dominance. How and why? And it does not look like their gravy train is going to come to a halt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tanay Friday December 28, 2018 / 8:44 pm

    I will let the wise ones answer Namami’s questions. If I can take a shot at it, world trade today is extremely skewed and China’s presence in the WTO is the single biggest reason, if not the only reason. This imbalance, if not corrected, will only result in China getting stronger.. Big Data is a powerful weapon which becomes even more potent in the hands of totalitarian regimes like China.


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