Will India surpass the US economy in the future? (India vs USA)

1. Through Simple Mathematics

India has a nominal GDP of $2tn and USA has $17tn. India is growing at 8% p.a. and USA at below 2%. Assuming India maintains an advantage of of 3% (instead of 6% at present) across the years.

$2tn (1+0.03)^n = $17.4 tn

Which should take approximately 73 years. Now let’s look deeper into India vs USA.

2. Data by PwC, one of the BIG FOUR, India vs USA

PwC India vs USA ATLAS Report Data

These are projections. There are more points to look at:

3. But what about social structure?

-Although overall, the Indian economy may overcome the US, the projections also suggest that the per capita income would still be lesser due to the population size. The Indian population is still growing much faster than ever before. So if you’re looking at lifestyle, maybe the US will still be far ahead.

-There are lots of social hurdles to overcome and they can’t be predicted. If the social structure doesn’t adapt, this can hamper growth in either of the countries.

4. Now lets look into the history:

Also take a look at history. It’s full of surprises.

Look at what happened in the last few hundred years:

  • India was far ahead in the 1700’s. Rank 1
  • Then, no mater what you’d predict at that time (and it seems like India would become a superpower), because of the social structure then, the British invasion into India was successful.
  • In the 1950’s, the US made huge progress through trade and technology. India had just got freedom from the British and was in it’s recovering phase now.
  • Japan made huge progress in just 30 years following this and surpassed India and China too! It was due to their strong nationalistic emotions and a social structure that supported it. Again, you see that society plays a strong role. Not just the economics. After they faced the Nuclear Bombing attacks, they become strongly united and nationalistic (probably), to boost the growth of their country.
  • Now India and China have shown huge progress in just 30 years. The next 30 are going to be even faster, so the projections are probably right. While China is slowing down a little now, India is going very fast. Especially in the Biotech Sector, India is set to become the best in Asia for the next 40 years after 2025, and it’s said that the Biotech sector will cause the next wave of growth, which will be bigger than ever before. But for it all to successfully work out, the social structure and the feeling of nationalism must be strong too.

History is also important when we make predictions since we realize that surprises can take place often and it’s not just about numbers but also about the state of the society.

5. What can surprises be like now?

  1. People are talking about going to Mars and capitalizing from there and you’re not surprised?
  2. Fossil fuels should run out in 30 years, and you’re not surprised?
  3. Biotech innovations and AI can change the social structures completely, and you’re not surprised?
  4. Did you have cellphones in your hand in the 1950’s? Technological advances are changing the face of society too. It’s becoming ever more virtual.
  5. Diseases like swine flu, ebola and others that can spread faster than ever before, can give us a surprise too. The list can go on, I can’t keep coming with infinite examples. Natural Disasters like the 2004 tsunami are also surprises.

While we must keep in mind that there can be surprises, we must prepare for them, be creative in adapting and therefore there are multiple predictions that are possible. It will be very interesting to see how the world moves in the next 20–30 years because the fate of humans and most other organisms eternally, will be decided by one species – humans – in these few years.

Coming back to what happened in the last 300 years, see below.

6. Here’s the history in a summary form, and now, you can sit and predict where the lines should go:

One big plus point for India and China is that, they are super power economies located not very far from each other. If instead of competitive tension, their focus will be more on trading, then i’s obvious that the two economies have a tactical advantage lover most other countries and can be the number one and two for sure.

Coming back to numbers, Asia should have the greatest share or world GDP in the future. India should ideally have a good share in this, and this is 50% of the world GDP.One last point: The Biotech Sector

India should be the leader in Asia, much ahead of China and Russia in the Biotech Sector, which will be a huge driving force. Similar trends can be established in other sectors, thus taking India forward. I’m only pointing out one sector here though, there can be many more.

Read the other answers too, because it would take a lot of time for me to cover so many points. Hence I agree if you say that I’ve only partially covered the topic as it can have so many points of view. But my aim was only to inform you so that you can start thinking.

Disclaimer: for reference

All the infographs were from http://inrogr.am by the way. PS I’m not affiliated to them in any way. Just found those plots interesting. And the US and Indian economic comparison data was from NationMaster.com. The other images have their sources written on them. Rest are just my own thoughts currently.



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