The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that China’s surging economy is set to overtake 56 countries in the world’s per-capita income rankings during the quarter-century through 2025.
According to data in IMF’s World Economic Outlook, China will rank 70th in the world on the metric, putting it close to joining the richest one-third of nations by 2025.
The Asian powerhouse is also forecast to have per-capita GDP, adjusted for purchasing power, equal to $25,307 in 2025. That will take it past Argentina, which was one of the richest countries in the world a century ago and has been overtaken by debt and currency crises.
Jim O’Neill, the former head of Global Economic Research at Goldman Sachs Inc. added that Brazil, Russia, India and China “could become collectively bigger than the G-7 countries” in the 2030s, referring to the Group of Seven richest nations.
“This is almost exclusively because of China, and to a smaller degree India,” he says.
Meanwhile, Turkmenistan is projected to be the only country climbing further up the rankings than China, advancing 58 spots. There are also big gains for Armenia, Georgia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
Overall, “developing Asian countries will see per-capita GDP rise sixfold in the period.” By contrast, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Central Asia aren’t expected to even double their incomes.
Among the G-7 economies, average per-capita GDP rose from $31,471 to an expected $64,582 in 2025. Italy is the only member forecast to fall sharply from 21st to 35th place.
The U.S. has held onto its standing in the world. It ranked 11th in 2000, with a per-capita GDP of $36,318, and is set to move up to 9th place. Its neighbours however face drops witth Canada is expected to drop six spots to 24th and Mexico plunging 26 places to 77th by 2025.
In general, Latin American and Caribbean economies have struggled over the quarter-century. They’re also among the hardest-hit by Covid-19 this year, with per-capita GDP forecast to decline in all the region’s economies except Guyana.
In Venezuela, the IMF didn’t even attempt forecasts as by 2019, the country had already seen per-capita GDP slump 36% from 2000.
The Gulf nations, among the world’s richest in 2000, have lost ground as the oil price receded. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia are all dropping out of the global top 20 as living standards stagnate or decline.
Others in the region have been devastated by war and political turmoil. Libya, Syria and Yemen have seen large declines. In Lebanon, the IMF expects a 25% contraction in GDP this year alone.
The Middle East’s situation is underlined by the fact that all five of the countries projected by the IMF to have lower per-capita incomes in 2025 compared with earlier in the century are in the region.
In the coronavirus year of 2020, the IMF expects only four of the world’s 50 biggest economies to achieve an increase in per-capita GDP, with Vietnam, Taiwan and Egypt joining China.