2024: China Overtaking the United States and the Revenge of the Asian Middle Class



The middle class goes to heaven, but only to China. Indeed, only in Asian countries. According to data from the World Bank and the IMF, Asian multinationals such as the Chinese Huawei and the Indian Tata will help increase the GDP of their respective countries by pushing them to occupy the top five of the top economies in the next two years. The game is not over, Trump’s trade wars against Chinese producers do not seem able to change the growth rates. However, a possible second pandemic could really call everything into question. But according to the researchers, the Covid-19 emergency will not change the future of the powerful in the world . Sic stantibus rebusthis being the case, the balance will have already changed over the next four years. The Statista infographic represents precisely this change of pace.  

What happened. China’s economic growth has been abrupt since the 1990s. On a demographic level, China’s one-child policy was implemented in 1979 and then abandoned in 2016. However, it had a long-term impact. The Chinese between 25 and 64 years old, i.e. people of working age, have reached their historical peak while children and young adults (15-24 years) have been in decline for decades. This is a change that we find in more developed countries, the reduction of births is typical of the more developed economies, in the case of China it happened for political “reasons”. As mentioned, the real driving force will be the spending power of the new Asian middle class. But also the political stability of the new bourgeois and the state of the countryside where economic conditions are very far in terms of material well-being from what is lived in the city. A glance but only anecdotal we can reserve it to the niche of the Chinese supericchi.

To analyze the picture of Chinese billionaires, two different databases were used, always pertinent to the year 2019, but which have a slightly different reference period, mainly due to the frequency with which one of the two is updated.

In detail, to get a vision of the billionaires on a global scale, a snapshot was taken of the continuously updated list drawn up by Forbes, while the focus on China was based on the numbers published by Hurun Report with reference to the month of August .

It will therefore not be surprising to find some (minimal) misalignment between the two sources, especially if we consider how quickly the Forbes list can change in the face of fluctuations, even if only passing.

The following infographic shows the 25 richest people in the world accompanied by the detail (visible at the click or the cursor passage) of geographical origin, age and main source of income.
In particular, the two representatives of China are highlighted by the red color both on a global scale and as regards the detail referring to the national panorama which instead sees the other Chinese billionaires marked by yellow.

In Italy? As we have also said here in Italy the middle class is becoming poorer and no longer has children.

Indonesia, together with the Philippines and Malaysia, is expected to significantly increase its workforce in the coming years, contributing to an increase in average disposable incomes, according to the World Economic Forum.

Asian multinationals, such as the Chinese Huawei and India Tata, have already emerged in this century and others are expected to appear on the global scene. But rapid growth in Asia also poses a number of problems, such as a rapidly growing division between rural and urban income, environmental degradation and new challenges for governance and institutions, according to FAO.




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