The countries that will rule the world in 2050
Future powerhouse economies
Wonder which major industrialised countries will be richer or poorer 33 years from now? Accountancy firm PwC has just released a report outlining growth forecasts to 2050 for 32 of the largest economies in the world. We count down where it says these countries will be in 2050 from 32 to 1 based on GDP at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which allows for a more accurate measure of what countries will be producing.
32. Netherlands (2016 ranking: 26)
Advanced Western European economies slip down the rankings by 2050 as a result of stagnant productivity growth, an ageing population and a slowing birth rate. The Netherlands is a prime example, falling from 26th most powerful economy in the world in 2016 to 32nd in 2050.
31. Colombia (2016 ranking: 30)
A steadily expanding population coupled with moderate economic growth should stand the Colombian economy in good stead over the next 33 years. By 2050, Colombia is projected to move up the rankings by one place.
30. Poland (2016 ranking: 23)
Eastern and Central European economies are expected to do better than their counterparts in the west of the continent during the coming decades. However, while GDP growth in Poland should be healthy at 4.5% a year on average, a decreasing population may take the edge off the growing economy.
29. Argentina (2016 ranking: 25)
Slipping down from 25th to 29th place, Argentina should experience a moderate population boost and its economy should grow steadily over the next 33 years, but in relation to other countries in Latin America and elsewhere, the growth is likely to be modest, hence the fall.
28. Australia (2016 ranking: 19)
Australia risks dropping a staggering nine places by 2050, falling from the 19th to the 28th largest economy in the world by 2050. The likely culprit? An undiversified economy that is heavily reliant on the mining of limited fossil fuels.
27. South Africa (2016 ranking: 29)
South Africa's population is projected to increase by around 0.5% annually until 2050 and long-term sustained economic growth is on the cards for the country. Unsurprisingly, South Africa is expected to rise from the world's 29th largest economy in 2016, to the 27th by 2050.
26. Spain (2016 ranking: 16)
The heaviest fall down the rankings, Spain is projected to plummet from 16th most powerful economy in 2016 to 26th in 2050. Analysts put this down to a large decline in the working age population rather than lacklustre economic performance.
25. Thailand (2016 ranking: 20)
Like many emerging economies, Thailand is racing ahead. The Thai economy is expected to be the 25th largest in the world by 2050, up five places compared to 2016. Economic growth forecasts are buoyant for the coming decades despite negative population growth.
24. Malaysia (2016 ranking: 27)
Thailand's neighbour Malaysia is projected to rise up the rankings too. Mirroring the nation next door, Malaysia should experience impressive GDP growth over the next 33 years, landing the country in 24th place by 2050.
23. Bangladesh (2016 ranking: 31)
Another impressive rise in the rankings, Bangladesh is forecast to have the world's 23rd biggest economy in 2050, up from the 31st in 2016. This growth is nevertheless dependent on the government enacting economic reform and improvements to the country's education system, according to PwC.
22. Canada (2016 ranking: 17)
Joining other faltering advanced economies in the West, Canada is likely to slip five places down the rankings by 2050. Again, a mix of slowing demographics and unimpressive economic growth explains the fall.
21. Italy (2016 ranking: 12)
Italy has a similar, albeit more serious, problem. Struggling with an ageing population and mediocre economic performance, the European country is also projected to drop out of the Top 20, down from the 12th largest economy in the world in 2016, to the 21st in 2050.
20. Vietnam (2016 ranking: 32)
Out of all 32 countries analysed, Vietnam is poised to be the highest mover. Its economy is projected to be the 20th biggest in the world in 2050, up a massive 12 places compared to 2016. As is the case with Bangladesh, however, this explosive growth will be reliant on economic and educational reforms.
19. Philippines (2016 ranking: 28)
The second highest mover, the Philippines is forecast to have the world's 19th largest economy in 2050, up from the 28th in 2016. Although the country's economic performance is expected to be robust, PwC predicts strong population growth will be the main driver.
18. South Korea (2016 ranking: 13)
Another victim of slowing demographics, South Korea is set to experience one of the largest declines in working age population out of the 32 countries featured in the report. Consequently, the country's economy is forecast to be the 18th largest in the world by 2050, down five places compared to 2016.
17. Iran (2016 ranking: 18)
Iran's population is projected to grow 0.4% annually in the years up to 2050 but its economy should experience average annual GDP growth of 5.5%, pushing it up one place in the ranking to the 18th largest economy in the world by 2050.
16. Pakistan (2016 ranking: 24)
Along with Egypt, Pakistan is forecast to experience the fastest population growth of any country featured in the report, averaging 1.4% a year. These shifting demographics should help push the economy into 16th place by 2050, up from 24th in 2016.
15. Egypt (2016 ranking: 21)
Egypt's speedy population growth rate of 1.4% a year and average annual GDP growth rate of 6.6% should significantly boost the country's financial fortunes in the coming years. By 2050, Egypt is projected to be the 15th largest economy on the planet, up from the 21st in 2016.
14. Nigeria (2016 ranking: 22)
The third highest mover, Nigeria boasts the fastest growing economy in Africa. The country is projected to rise eight places to become the world's 14th largest economy by 2050, though PwC has pointed out that Nigeria will have to diversify its economy, shore up its infrastructure and tackle corruption in order to get there.
13. Saudi Arabia (2016 ranking: 15)
While the country is currently dependent on oil, the Saudi Government has ambitious plans to diversify its economy. Annual growth is expected to average a dynamic 5.1%, pushing Saudi Arabia up two places from the 15th largest economy in the world in 2016 to the 13th largest by 2050.
12. France (2016 ranking: 10)
France is projected to drop two places, from the world's 12th most powerful economy in 2016 to the 10th in 2050, a less drastic fall compared to many other advanced Western European economies. France's working age population is projected to be remain flat, hence the more modest drop.
11. Turkey (2016 ranking: 14)
Emerging economies, particularly powerful E7 nations such as Turkey, stand to perform the best over the next 33 years, thanks to strong population and GDP growth. Turkey is projected to have the world's 11th biggest economy by 2050, up three places from 2016.
10. United Kingdom (2016 ranking: 9)
Though PwC expects Brexit to hamper our economy in the medium-term, the long-term forecast still looks positive. The UK is expected to fall only one place down the rankings by 2050, saved by its growing working age population and steady economic growth.
9. Germany (2016 ranking: 5)
Germany, on the other hand, may not be quite as fortunate. The country's economy is expected to shrink from the world's fifth largest in 2016 to the ninth largest by 2050. The reasons? Slow economic growth averaging just 1.7% a year and a declining working age population, despite the recent influx of migrants.
8. Japan (2016 ranking: 4)
Dropping four places, Japan is facing the same issues. The former powerhouse economy of Asia is expected to post the slowest economic growth of all the 32 countries in the PwC report at a paltry average of 1.1% a year. Its population is also projected to fall the fastest, by an average of 0.5% annually.
7. Mexico (2016 ranking: 11)
Whether President Trump builds his wall or not, the Mexican economy is projected to grow from being the world's 11th largest in 2016 to the seventh largest by 2050 on the back of steady population and GDP growth.
6. Russia (2016 ranking: 6)
Russia is forecast to remain the world's sixth largest economy. A disappointing projection for an E7 nation, Russia's declining population and slower than anticipated GDP performance are expected to hold back the country's economy over the next 33 years.
5. Brazil (2016 ranking: 7)
Brazil's economy is growing steadily but it lacks the explosive growth of other E7 economies such as Mexico and Indonesia. For this reason, Brazil is only expected to rise two places in the rankings, from the world's seventh largest economy in 2016 to the fifth biggest by 2050.
4. Indonesia (2016 ranking: 8)
A major player by 2050, Indonesia is expected to boast the world's fourth largest economy by the middle of the century, up from the eighth most powerful in 2016.
3 United States (2016 ranking: 2)
The mighty US is set to drop one place from the second biggest economy in the world in 2016 to the planet's third largest by 2050. According to analysts, relatively slow population and annual GDP growth will be behind the fall.
2. India (2016 ranking: 3)
India steps into America's spot by 2050, up from the third to the second largest economy in the world. At 7.7% a year, the country is projected to have the highest GDP growth rate in dollar terms of all 32 countries covered in the report.
1. China (2016 ranking: 1)
China is expected to hold on to the number one spot. In 2050, the Asian giant is forecast to have the largest economy on the planet. With an ageing population and an annual GDP growth rate averaging just 4.4%, however, China isn't projected to enjoy the exceptional economic growth it experienced during the 2000s.