The United States still has the world’s top-ranked economy, but the BRIC nations are coming up fast.
Strong competition is coming from the thriving economies of the four BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China. China, now ranked third, is projected to take the top spot by 2050, knocking the U.S. down to number two. India would follow in the third slot.
Helping these nations surge ahead: cheap labor rates. A 2010 survey found the average Chinese worker earned just $1.06 an hour. Compare that to $34.74 an hour – the average paid by American employers.
Check out our infographic for more on the shifting balance of global trading power. See “What Do Others Say?” for more perspective, then add to the discussion below. Are you troubled by the prospect of America as number two – or lower? What can the U.S. do to be more competitive?