Japan will be the fourth economy by 2050

Joi Ito shows in his blog this chart that compares how much percentage represented each country to the world’s GDP in 2004 (the bar on the top) compared with how it’s expected to be in 2050 (the second bar). In 2004, the USA is 38.3% of world’s economy, and Japan it’s 15.4%. But, by 2050 it is expected that China will be the world’s number one economy with 24.1%, the United States will be second with 20.3%, India gets the bronze medal with 15.8% and Japan drops to the fourth position with only the 4% of world’s GDP.

JapanGdp
Joi Ito got this from Oki Matsumoto (Keio University)

Joi Ito’s important conclusion is that Japan should stop to think they are the second biggest economy in the world. Japan should start to think more humble and concentrate in becoming a better country to live, being kinder with people/society and forget a little bit about companies. They should stop depending so much on the manufacture industry, promote more tourism and give incentives to increase immigration so they can “stop” the huge problem with the aging population. In 1992, Japan was 18% of world’s total GDP, you could say that Japan was a country with influence. But in 15~30 years all predictions give Japan around 4 and 6% of world’s GDP. That’s very low, Japanese won’t be able to show off any more. But, the best countries (happier people and no stress life), are not the biggest or the most powerful. Japan should look at those countries and learn.

9 Comments
  • Jon

    January 24, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Statistics can have many different meanings. People need to remember that one of the reasons China’s economy is so huge is that they have 1.3 billion people. Yes, their economy in 2050 will be a little larger then the U.S. economy. But on a per capita basis, China will still be far behind the U.S. and Japan.

  • SpoBo

    January 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    lol by how things are going now I’d expect the number one spot to be correct. But US second? no way. They have inflation and recession written all over it.

  • Roy

    January 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    You have to keep in mind that that chart comes from Monex Securities which is a retail online broker. They’ve been actively promoting overseas investments especially in the growing markets BRICS, VISTA. As with all online brokers in Japan, they are suffering from individuals cutting back on trading due to the Japanese economy being in the dumpster.

  • Ten Sigh

    January 24, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    It will be hard to pass the US as #1; its economy changes more quickly than anybody (recessions last only a year a less since the Reagan era). The US econmy might have a “cold” but that doesn’t mean it’s dying.

    Japan also has strong banks and a highly valued monetary unit. Toyota is the #1 producer of cars in the world. Hard to conclude its weakness is its companies. Japan still dominates in electronics, autos and design.

    China is developing fast, sure, but it sells mostly to the US and Japan. Once Chinese labor becomes expensive then the Chinese made items (which are usually inferior in quality) will become too expensive to compete.

    In short, rates change, and the predictions are usually off.

  • Secondbestcurler

    January 24, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Well, China is a country 1.3 (nearly 1.4 billion people) – it’s essentially a world of its own, and it is developing it’s own internal market as well. Maybe they’ll over take the US, maybe not – I personally think it’ll be a tie between the US, EU and China.

    But all in all, you don’t have to have the world’s largest economy to be a great country – Many countries in Scandinavia are really developed and wealthy and quite happy, with low crime. Even if Japan doesn’t maintain it’s spot in the top 5 or so, it can still provide for its own people, it can still be a happy, low crime, technologically advanced nation.

    I speak from experience because I live in Australia – and we don’t have a spectacularly large economy (although it is still quite large), but it’s a free nation with low crime and a great culture – which is something Japan has.

    Japan doesn’t realize that image isn’t everything, world standing isn’t everything – creating a happy, prosperous society which can sustain itself IS everything.

  • ale/pepino

    January 24, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Joi is as sharp as usual. I hope there is some “training” on the media for the Japanese to care more about themselves, and less about companies.

    They can think about themselves as individuals, or as families (as they did during all the Middle Ages) but there’s a real need to stop prioritizing “companies” to “happiness”.

  • Shippoyasha

    January 25, 2008 at 8:10 am

    obvious trend really. China has already ballooned quite a bit since the last report.

    I don’t find it surprising since a lot of foreign relations with Japan in the immediate Asian area has grown weary of Japan it seems (including the blow for blow competition from China and Korea) and nations like Brazil will become powerful once its domestic situation is ironed out.

    Not surprising at all. Is it sad? Yes. I don’t like America being edged by China either. But it may be inevitable. But it won’t mean western nations will fall off the Earth. Just that the playing field will even out.

  • Cambo

    January 26, 2008 at 2:17 am

    If this chart is accurate, it is a scary thing, because I do not want a Chinese made car, I do not want a Chinese made media device, I do not want a Chinese made anything! This is what makes Japanese product better, let them stress!! as long as my digital camara last!! not some cheap crap from other country!!!

  • Jon

    January 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    The US economy is not dying and the US will have a huge economy for a long time.

    But, yes, China’s economy will eventually pass the United States in size. Many economists have predicted that by around 2050 to 2070.

    But China will only grow if the US keeps buying their stuff and the US won’t buy stuff if the US is not prosperous so for China to be prosperous the US must prosperous.

    It’s a global economy.