National Economies That Already Hit Economic Wall and Are Flat or Declining

I have predicted the relative success of the Canadian economy by 2040-2050. This is NOT predicting an economic miracle for Canada but avoiding economic disaster. Japan, Germany, UK, France and Italy have all ALREADY hit an economic and demographic wall. They have ALREADY flat, aging and even declining populations. It is a prediction based upon actually observing and interpreting statistics from 2000 to 2023 and 2007 to 2023. It is the observation that old people keep getting older. It is the observation that old people spend less money and work less. Canada is mixing in a lot of younger people to keep their population a mix of relatively younger people.

GDP economy is number of people times the average income or production for each person.

Canada’s economy has almost tripled from US$744 billion in 2000 to US$2.1 trillion today. Japan’s economy has dropped from US$4.97 trillion in 2000 to US$4.4 trillion in 2023. Japan’s population has declined by the average age has increased from 40.7 in 2000 to 48.4 in 2023. 36 million people are over 65. People over 50 are less productive than people in their 40s and people over 50 are in general not buying newer or bigger houses. They are generating far less economic activity.

Italy’s economy has been flat to down since 2007. In 2007, Italy’s economy was US$2.2 trillion vs US$2.17 trillion in 2023.

France’s economy has been flat to down since 2008. In 2008, France’ economy was US$2.8 trillion vs US$2 2.9 trillion in 2023.

UK’s economy has been flat to down since 2008. In 2008, UK’s economy was US$3.1 trillion vs US$3.1 trillion in 2023.

Germany’s economy has been flat to down since 2008. In 2008, Germany’s economy was US$3.8 trillion vs US$4.3 trillion in 2023. Germany’s economy was $3.89 trillion in 2020.

Canada going to the world’s fourth biggest economy is just a matter of not having an economic and demographic disaster like the other five of the countries ahead of them in the economic size rankings.

Canada’s economy is still up 31% from its 2008 peak. How much is Canada’s population up from 2008? 20%. Canada’s population is 40 million vs 33.25 million in 2008. Canada is also preventing its median age from skyrocketing as well.

If Canada’s economy doubles by 2046, then Canada becomes the fourth biggest economy in the world if Japan, Germany, UK, France and Italy are all STILL stagnating or declining. IF India’s screws up its economy and does not have an economic miracle then Canada ends up third.

The world’s third tallest midget is the still third tallest.

China will also hit demographic problems and possible decline but China is at $17 trillion or so today. South Korea has hit peak population three years ago. This happened earlier than expected because of COVID and excess deaths that linger post-COVID. South Korea has the world’s lowest fertility rates at 0.78. It is 0.6 in Seoul.

There are number of haters and doubters criticizing the prediction that Canada’s economy could become the third or fourth largest in the world. They should note that this result is not based upon overall superior government leadership. There is no techno-economic strategy of fostering innovation. This is not about how hard people are working. Japan’s people are among the hardest working in the world. Japan has fostered technological innovation. The per capita income and productivity of a million people in an old folks community is less than a million people in their 30s. It does not matter how hard working and innovative the people in the old folks home were.

Australia’s economy has quadrupled from 2000. Australia is also following the same skimming most of the best immigrants in the world national strategy. Canada’s economy is still 25% larger than Australia.

Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia are behind Canada. Brazil has also tripled its GDP from 2000. Mexico has doubled its GDP from 2000. Brazil might pass Canada. IF Canada keeping its economic growth on track with a double or triple by 2045-2050 like they did from 2000-2023 and they have a high likelihood of staying ahead of Brazil and Mexico.

Brazil is not immigrating in people and will see its median age increase to 43-44 by 2050.

Indonesia has had stronger economic growth from 2000 to today. Indonesia’s economy is 7-8 times bigger now than in 2000. Canada needs to triple its economy to stay ahead of Indonesia makings its economy 5 times bigger.

IF Indonesia and India perform well then Canada would end up the fifth largest world economy in 2050. However, economic catchup for developing economies is not assured. A changing world economy that is more AI and robotic centric is not one that is one where developing countries have an advantage over developed countries.

Canada closer economic trading with the US economy would be an advantage if the US economy is leading the AI and robot revolution.

Canada also has been producing leaders in AI for decades. The CTO of OpenAI is a Canadian. A leader in humanoid robotics is the Canadian company SanctuaryAI. Canadian Geoffrey Hinton has been the academic leader of neural networks.

More GDP Details and Background

Germany was still $3.8 trillion in 2020. $4.0 trillion in 2022. $4.3 for 2023 is still an estimate for a year that has not finished. IMF data for Indonesia for 2000 is $179 billion

Indonesia $1.32 trillion in 2022. 1318 billion divided by 179 billion is 7.3 times.

Wikipedia has compiled all the past and future IMF GDP actual and estimated numbers for countries from 1970 to 2028.

Germany had 3870 billion euro GDP in 2022 and 998 billion euro in Q1 2023. Those are the official German GDP numbers. The Euro-USD exchange moved a lot in 2022 through mid-2023. One Euro was a low as $0.96 USD and as high as $1.14 USD. Todays exchange rate is 1.09 exchange rate it is US$4.2 trillion. At 1.05 exchange rate it is $4.06 trillion.

Relative to 2000 and other past years, GDPs for all countries will be moving up a lot unless there is the correct inflation adjustment. There is 6-7% annual inflation in 2022 and in 2023. Country GDPs can be compared on a relative basis within the same year.

17 thoughts on “National Economies That Already Hit Economic Wall and Are Flat or Declining”

  1. Is the surface of a planet the right place for the Brave New World fertility solution?

    And don’t kid yourselves — you don’t have what it takes to think up solutions to the collapse of fertility in “developed” economies other than baby farms.

    Get the F off my planet.

  2. I am still scared about China, the way they are they will do anything to reverse population decline. I see them building children farms, perhaps even resorting to in vitro substitutes. In this scenario China progress to becoming the world superpower will continue.

  3. Not to worry about the US keeping up in population. Unlike Canada and Australia who limits their immigrants to those who can actually contribute to the economy the US lets anyone who can breath. As a matter of fact 45% of the food stamps go to illegal aliens. We can grow our welfare rolls dramatically. Since they cannot get high paying jobs without speaking the language or having an education their inability to make a good wage is obviously due to racism. Must be the Nazi’s cause they are vast in number and everywhere.

  4. Positive demographics forecasts cannot overcome Canada’s fundamental twin problems of poor governance and unfavorable geography.

    Poor governance means–among many other things–that there will be no place for future immigrants to live. As long as it remains Canadian policy to constrain the rate of housing construction to below the rate of population growth, future immigrants will not reach their economic potential in Canada. Rather, they will find themselves without housing and will either return to their countries of origin or be forced into low-paying work due to homelessness.

    Unfavorable geography–among many other things–stems from being a neighbor to the United States. Proximity to the US has historically strangled Canadian economic development by removing the need to construct and maintain a domestic economic base. Further, domestic and American policies mean that very little of our economic output is available for domestic re-investment and the impacts. Under-investment has provided Canada with a very weak economic base from which to grow.

    Canadian dependence on the American economy will significantly restrict Canadian growth prospects in the long run. The United States is presenting an increasing number of objective and subjective warning flags, including declining life expectancy, decaying critical infrastructure, rising inequality, and a shift toward hate-based ethnoreligious politics. It is unlikely that these conditions will be reversed; as such long-term American economic prospects are not entirely positive. What happens to America will also drag down Canada.

    As much as demographics are a valuable predictor of future performance, they are not the sole determinant of the future. It is probable that countries which are well-governed but have demographic challenges will perform far better than countries, such as Canada, that have positive demographics but much worse circumstances.

    • Just as a counterpoint, outside of academia and a few tiny white nationalist groups (they really are tiny, just severely overrepresented in left wing media), America does just fine as a melting pot.

      All of the Indian/Pakistani/Chinese/Jewish coders/engineers/researchers give the US an enormous advantage in the age of e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, aeronotics, aerospace, Telecom innovations, basic materials research, battery and solid state research, renewable energy deployment, advanced mining and extraction/processing, data mining, quantum computing, etc gives the United States enormous advantages compared to other nations.

      Don’t believe everything you read while doomscrolling left wing / right wing media.

      Apple, Tesla, SpaceX, Google, Amazon, our university research, and our Healthcare innovations/genetic medicine developments are the envy of the world. Our cleaner resource extraction methods are unrivaled.

      I don’t like either political party at the federal level, but fortunately state and local governments are still, at least for a long time into the future, much more important in the day to day operations of the good ‘ole US of A.

  5. Could someone please provide a link to the imf data that Brian is using?

    Brian: it would be helpful to provide those links when you can (you do a lot, and it’s really helpful)

  6. I want to live in a country that is commodities based. Where fresh Molson’s flows from the taps of every pub in the land. Where hockey is more important than women and the women think it is to!

  7. “Germany’s economy has been flat to down since 2008. In 2008, Germany’s economy was US$3.8 trillion vs US$4.3 trillion in 2023”. That’s not flat to down, that’s 21% UP.
    According to World Bank Indinesia has GDP not 7-8 times bigger than in 2000 but 2.5 times bigger.
    When you have a point you want to make you shouldn’t stretch your numbers and arguments.

  8. This seems to imply everywhere is going to go through this. Canada is just delaying it. Society needs to change

      • There’s a bug where sometimes someone else’s username and email address automatically populates the relevant fields, and you have to deliberately remove it. For me, it just auto-filled the name “Nelson Swanberg”. Hi Nelson.

        It’s been around for awhile and it’s annoying. I’m not sure if Brian has even noticed.

  9. Doesn’t it make more sense to talk about GDP per capita rather than GDP when comparing countries/economies and living standards? Even if that population is declining? It’s the trend in GDP per capita that matters most no?

    • I was going to write that, too. Brian’s habit of going with total GDP, not per capita, means that a country can be growing poorer on average, and look like they’re improving, just because they imported a lot of poor people.

      Per capita income isn’t everything, I’ll grant that. At one limit, a country consisting of a single guy with a high income isn’t going to accomplish much, the total discretionary income is tiny. But at the other limit, a country consisting of a billion people barely surviving would have a pretty large total GDP, too, and would be equally incapable.

      Perhaps there’s some measure out there that combines population and per capita GDP to see how much a country has left over after survival to actually do interesting things.

      But total GDP has obvious weaknesses.

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