World’s top economies in 2050 will be...
January 12th, 2012
08:17 AM ET

World’s top economies in 2050 will be...

Editor's Note: See CNN's Business 360 Global Exchange for more.

By , CNN

The global research department of HSBC has released a report predicting the rise and fall of the world’s economies in the next 40 years.

The world’s top economy in 2050 will be China, followed by the United States. No surprises there – since China’s reforms in the 1980s, economists have said it’s not a question of if, but when, China’s collective economic might will top the U.S.

But among the smaller, developing nations, there are several surprises by HSBC prognosticators:

* By 2050, the Philippines will leapfrog 27 places to become the world’s 16th largest economy.

* Peru’s economy, growing by 5.5% each year, jumping 20 places to 26th place – ahead of Iran, Columbia and Switzerland. Other strong performers will be Egypt (up 15 places to 20th), Nigeria (up nine places to 37th), Turkey (up six spots to 12th), Malaysia (up 17 to 21st) and the Ukraine (up 19 to 45th).

* Japan’s working population will contract by a world-top 37% in 2050 – yet HSBC economists predict it will still be toward the top performing economies, dropping only one spot to the 4th largest economy. India will jump ahead of Japan to 3rd on the list.

* The big loser in the next 40 years will be advanced economies in Europe, HSBC predicts, who will see their place in the economic pecking order erode as working population dwindles and developing economies climb. Only five European nations will be in the top 20, compared to eight today. Biggest drop will be felt northern Europe: Denmark to 56th ( -29), Norway to 48th ( -22), Sweden to 38th (-20) and Finland to 57th (-19).

HSBC 2050 list of top economies (change in rank from 2010)

1) China (+2)

2) U.S. (-1)

3) India (+5)

4) Japan (-2)

5) Germany (-1)

6) UK (-1)

7) Brazil (+2)

8) Mexico (+5)

9) France (-3)

10) Canada (same)

11) Italy (-4)

12) Turkey (+6)

13) S. Korea (-2)

14) Spain (-2)

15) Russia (+2)

16) Philippines (+27)

17) Indonesia (+4)

18) Australia (-2)

19) Argentina (2)

20) Egypt (+15)

21) Malaysia (+17)

22) Saudi Arabia (+1)

23) Thailand (+6)

24) Netherlands (-9)

25) Poland (-1)

26) Peru (+20)

27) Iran (+7)

28) Colombia (+12

29) Switzerland (-9)

30) Pakistan (+14)

“If we step away from the cyclicality, there are two ways economies can grow; either add more people to the production line via growth in the working population, or make each individual more productive,” the report says.

In other words, demographics – the size of your working population – along with the opportunities to flex that muscle help determine long-term economic trends. Big factors on the back half of that equation: Education opportunities, democratic governments or strong rule of law (a caveat that explains China and Saudi Arabia’s high placement).

“We openly admit that behind these projections we assume governments build on their recent progress and remain solely focused on increasing the living standards for their populations,” the report says. “Of course, this maybe an overly glossy way of viewing the world.”

Chief factors that may derail economies moving forward, the report says: War, energy consumption constraints, climate change, and growing barriers to population movement across borders.

Read more at CNN's Business 360 Global Exchange.

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Topics: Economy • Global

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. José Henrique

    This list is wrong. Brazil is already the 6th, how can it be the 7th and scale 2 degrees???

    January 12, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  2. José Henrique

    And UK is already the 7th, how can it go to the 6th place and go down 1 degree? It´s everything changed.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • David Larking

      Brazil and the UK swapped positions sometime in 2011 and this list is from 2010 so it isn't wrong.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • OSCAR VISE

        You are 100% right David, also they mentioned some predictions.

        January 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  3. Benedict

    If only Nigeria's leaders were more interested in developing the country rather than line their pockets with the national revenue,than i would believe that she would rise to the position of 37th in the world.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
  4. George Patton

    Unless Washington D.C. finds another way of doing business and soon, by 2050 the U.S. will no longer be the world's leading economy. The current right-wing politicians are doing just like the ancient Romans did, that is, spending far too much money on all these useless wars!!!

    January 12, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    The reason why Switzerland – the only country with less than 10 million inhabitants – is among these 30 nations of growth, while other – demographically similarily small – countries in Scandinavia aren't, can be explained by its strong currency and high wages and salaries. Over 20% of the population in Switzerland are foreigners. They are there purely for the sake of earning more. Although the Scandinavian countries would not make to the top, the good quality of life will remain much the same.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  6. Natz

    I'm Filipino and since last year, I've had the itch of buying stocks in my country. Although I'm optimistic, there's still hesitation lurking, but now that there's a positive review of the Philippines from HSBC, I think I have to leave hesitation aside, trust my gut and start investing now.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  7. krm1007

    Don't think the world will be configured the way it is now by 2050. For ex. India will be broken up into independent states circa USSR. China will be ahead of the curve by a large margin. USA will be fragemented also. Texas/California will be independent countries. Capital of what we now know as Mexico will be in Texas and will probably be called Untied States of Texas. Pakistan will probably be # 3 and the new gateway to Europe and Central Asia. It will absorb some of the states broken off from India. Europe will remain stagnant. Asian countries will be dominated by China and will become satellite states. A new world order will emerge and most of financial and economical theories and text books will be rewritten. It will be economically brutal for the western world. China will totally dominate the world for at least two centuries due to sheer determination and ruthless implementation of policies.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • AK

      India will be broken up into independent states circa USSR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really????? Dude..You don't know anything about India and that is why you are making this statement. Even though India is so diverse, it is very stable.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • Sumit

      ohhhh man USSR was already a fedretion and go and educate to yourself before commenting about india

      January 16, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
    • vrny

      what ? who told you India would break up ? Where would you get such a wiered idea ?

      February 20, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
  8. Reggie

    Wow...I hope no one got paid to write this, numbers are wrong, current rankings are wrong. Where did they get this predictions..the local barber!?

    January 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  9. Khurana

    I read the actual HSBC report that does not have Philippines listed in it as the top 30.
    The report could be found here:

    January 13, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
    • Alex

      Actually, the list show on this article its almost entirely different from the HSBC list.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • Amir

      Hahaha. Your list is outdated! that was the report in January 2011 – it is 2012 now! When they did that 2011 report, they only considered 40 countries and came up with a top 30 list. Even then, if you've read that report, you'll find that the Philippines was mentioned to leapfrog and break into the top 30 (the Philippines was at #43, thus was not considered for the 2011 report). In their latest report, where they considered 100 economies – the Philippines figured at #16, leapfrogging 27 places. This HSBC report has valid bases. If factors they considered won't change, the world in 2050 ranked accdg to economies will really look like the latest list.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:53 am | Reply
    • rodel

      The link you posted leads to the Jan 2011 report. That is the old one hahaha

      February 4, 2012 at 3:50 am | Reply

    wow! I am too happy to find india ranking no.3. we are already part of 3rd world countries. what is special about ranking three?

    January 13, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply

    Great for Peru !!!! Congrats and good job with gold mine projects !!!

    January 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  12. Jr

    Who made the list? HSBC? What does it mean again, then you can conclude why it's china...

    January 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Amir

      Fyi... HSBC is a british company, not chinese. So if you think the report is bias, your premise is wrong.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:58 am | Reply
  13. That'snotTrue={

    .....The US in number 2 seriously?
    Uhhh...............Did that 15 trillion debt problem just went away magically?
    Doubt the US will be in the top 20 or even 30, the government ISN'T doing anything to solve the real problems.
    Dear CNN, please stop blowing your own nation's horns....when its in such a bad position, likely to get worse as the debt increases. =.=

    January 14, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  14. Mr. Keithen

    It is wrong , Brazil is 6th. and will get a better position in future.

    January 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  15. Jim

    Who wants to live in Norway anyway?

    January 20, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  16. Soni

    LMAO Guys this is only Jokes News
    Indonesia already 16th economic in Term of GDP since 2011 that's why Indonesia a member of G 20 ( ( 20 top major economic league of the world) .Not in rank 21th
    The Author will be ashamed , and just hope until 2050, Indonesian economy growth Minus .......

    May 10, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply

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