Most people would say that it is impossible for Canada GDP at $2.2 trillion today to pass China’s GDP which is $18.8 trillion. The last year Canada was ahead of China’s GDP was in 1978. Canada’s economy as 33% larger than China’s in 1976. China had 930 million people in 1976 and Canada had 23 million.
How could this happen ? China collapses or Canada surges or a lot of both.
For people who doubt the conclusion, see the ending summary to understand this not just a prediction about the future but explaining what has already happened over the last 30 years.
Since 1976, China’s GDP has gone up 100 times while Canada’s went up 11 times.
Canada’s population is now 40.35 million. Canada added ten million people since 2000. Canada added 3.4 million people from 2000 to 2010. Canada added 6.7 million people since 2010.
Canada added 2.5 million people from 2021 to today and this year the annualized adding 1.4 million people.
Statscan estimated 38.9 million at Sept 30, 2022, 39.3 million at Dec 2022. Canada added over 1 million people in 9 months and 352,000 in the last 3 months.
Who are the people immigrating to Canada? Over 25% of the people immigrating to Canada are from India and over 7% are from China.
IF Canada adds 10 million people per decade from now to 2100 then Canada will add 77 million people and have a population of 117 million.
IF Canada adds 14 million people per decade from now to 2100 then Canada will add 107 million people and have a population of 147 million.
This would be 25-30 million people from India moving to Canada and 5 to 10 million from China moving to Canada.
With only population growth and no per capita GDP growth Canada can reach $9 trillion in GDP in today’s dollars in 2100.
China is heading the opposite direction on population and India could join in dropping population. China now has the lowest fertility rate alongside other southeast asian countries of — Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore. China population is shrinking but more important to population collapse is the number of girls 0-4 is half the number of women who are in 35-39 and aging out of fertility. The biggest problem with China have a fertility rate of 1.09 is that there are only 0.54 fertile daughters produced by the average women. The Fertile women population plummets far faster than overall population. The number of women in China able to have children will drop in half by 2045-2055.
China’s population could drop from 1.4 billion to 1 billion in 2050 and could drop to 400 million in 2100. China’s population would be less than 30% of its population today. It would be less than half of the population in 1976.
With only population change and no per capita GDP growth China would have $6 trillion GDP in today’s dollars in 2100.
Japan’s GDP hit the wall in 1995 at $5.5 trillion. Japan’s population aged and shrank to $4.2 trillion last year and maybe $4.4 trillion this year. Japan lost 25% of its GDP over a time (1995-2023) when the Canada and USA each more tripled GDP.
Japan’s median age increased from 38 in 1995 to 48 in 2023.
China’s median age will increase from 38 today to 50 in 2050.
Canada can roughly double its population by 2050-2055 and its GDP would triple or quadruple. This would be $7-9 trillion GDP around 2050.
China could take a 30-50% GDP hit as the demographic impact would be worse than Japan from 1995-2023. This would put China at $9-12 trillion in GDP. If China is able to sustain GDP in spite of the aging and shrinking population then it would take until 2070 to 2080 for Canada to pass China.
30% of China’s GDP is from real estate. Japan’s real estate was cut in half from 1995 to 2023 because of the reduced demand from a shrinking aging population. If China has a long and near permanent recession from an aging and shrinking population then many more Chinese could choose to emigrate. If millions of people in China decide to leave then their destinations will be Canada, Australia, USA and Europe.
China had a great economy in the 1990s and still had net migration out of the country. When China’s economy was not so good there over 800,000 net migrants. If China has a sustained Japan-like lost decades then emigration could easily spike to 2 million per year. Canada would be welcoming 200,000 to 300,000 from China each year instead of 35000.
India’s population has dropped below replacement as well. There are projections that India could drop below 1.7 on fertility this year. Replacement fertility is 2.1. Indians in Malaysia and other southeast countries with chinese and indian populations show the same low fertility rate. If India’s GDP per capita moves up then India would likely also face 1.2-1.4 fertility levels. India’s population could start shrinking around 2050-2060 and could also drop below 1 billion by 2100.
A bad economy in India would mean more Indian emigration to Canada.
Highlights of The Analysis and the Reliability of Two Decade Population Forecasts
People will want to dismiss this conclusion. But the shock is more about the global depopulation problem has already happened. Fertile women are disappearing around the world. We know how much fewer fertile women there will be because girls aged 0-4 will become the 16-20 year old women who could have children. Only women aged 16-36 can have children. The ones over 37 are so rare it does not matter. There are four 5 year age groups that make up the 16-36 fertile women. In 15 years the 0-15 girls replace the current 21-35 year old women in the population pyramid. This is locked in already.
This is not just a forecast out 37 to 77 years. It is not just saying that things will happen. It is saying that very important things have already happened for the past 30-50 years. There are unavoidable consequences.
It is super rare for women who are not 16-36 years of age to have babies. China has about 70% as many women who could have children now as they did 25 years ago (165 million vs 230 million). The number of fertile women will drop to 132 million in 20 years. In 30 years, it will be 80-100 million fertile women. Women in cities who get a University education do not start having babies until they are 24-36.
China’s median age will increase from now to 2050. Again this cannot really be changed. Only by surging the number of babies can this be altered somewhat. The population pyramid will shift forward. Age everyone by 15 years and you get the population pyramid from 16-85 based upon those who were 0-70.
We have seen what happens to a large developed economy when the median age increases from 38 to 48. This was the case study of Japan. Japan ended up with 30-40% of the economy it would have had if it did not have a badly aging population. The population pyramid has locked in the next 15-20 years for China on median age and shrinking workforce.
Only 0.5-1.5% of the world population emigrates to other countries. The global immigration-emigration patterns are slow changing over decades. The flows from one country to another are like pumping water from a well. It takes a while to build up the flow of people but after you do then the flow tends to continue.
The conclusion above is not a 37-77 year projection. It is reading what is locked in for the next 15-20 years and then 22-47 years of trends. These trends that are as difficult to change as a large ship headed for an iceberg.
Changes can be made but the level of urgency, emergency and effort must be increased by 10 to twenty times todays efforts. I urge those changes to be made not just in China but in 70-80% of the world which has dropped below replacement. This includes India, Bangladesh, almost all of Europe, Americas and Asia.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.