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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 17. | WILLisms.com | Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Twenty-Seven -- The Cost Of Doing Nothing. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 128 -- America's Ridiculously Big Economy.

The World's Greatest Economic Engine-


The United States economy (using 2004 World Bank numbers) is larger than the second (Japan), third (Germany), fourth (United Kingdom), and fifth (France) largest economies, combined. If you add the sixth (Italy), seventh (China), eighth (Spain), ninth (Canada), tenth (India), eleventh (South Korea), twelfth (Mexico), thirteenth (Australia), fourteenth (Brazil), fifteenth (Russia), sixteenth (Netherlands), seventeenth (Switzerland), eighteenth (Belgium), nineteenth (Sweden), and twentieth (Turkey) largest economies together, the sum is still smaller than the United States economy.

The disparity becomes even more stark when you compare the relative population sizes.

This explains how the United States can spend such a relatively small amount of our GDP on our military and still have, far and away, the largest military force in the world. It also explains how the U.S. can offer, far and away, more than any other country, in economic aid to poorer countries, yet still get criticized for not doing enough.

It is also worth noting that the American economy has now experienced 9 straight quarters of GDP growth over 3% (with some quarters much higher). At consistent 3% growth, with an economy so gargantuan, the U.S. will grow by roughly 350 billion dollars in a single year. That's like adding an entire Croatia (a great country to visit, incidentally) in a single year. Compound that 3% growth rate for a few years, and it's like adding a Canada, a Turkey, and an Ireland, combined. Of course, those economies are also typically growing over that time, but you get the idea.

-World Bank (.pdf).
- CIA.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Protectionist Democrats.

Posted by Will Franklin · 4 August 2005 06:52 AM


This category of graph is also important for another reason. Liberals, greens, one-worlders, etc., love to lament how the U.S. has x% of the population but generates >x% of pollution, greenhouse gases, nuclear waste, etc. Or that we have >x% of the world's wealth.

But they conveniently omit that we also generate >x% of the world's output, so of course we will generate >x% of the world's waste. And when you net out the math, we are actually very efficient producers generating relatively less waste for our output.

To love the planet requires a love of capitalism.

Posted by: KipEsquire at August 4, 2005 07:36 AM

Greedy gringos. Shame on you for not sharing your wealth with other pure...oops..poor nations.

Now why do all these people want to move to America - the land of evil, destruction, greed, and other vices?

Posted by: David at August 4, 2005 02:44 PM

No matter how accurate this chart is, it still displays what happened economically in the last 100 years. The future may hold completely different story.

Posted by: Real Returns at August 8, 2005 09:31 AM

You forgot Taiwan's $576 Billion economy.

Posted by: Me at August 11, 2005 10:48 AM

Using the World Bank data, they didn't include Taiwan. In the CIA data, they did. A few discrepancies here and there, actually, between the data sets.

Posted by: Will Franklin at August 11, 2005 10:57 AM

Isn't 3% growth more like adding a Sweden every year? Croatia is more like every month.

Posted by: Dave at August 15, 2005 12:26 PM