Thursday, October 27, 2011

In the last decade nearly 2.6 billion people enjoyed dramatic expansions in wealth. It turns out the economic armacatastromeltdown has been a problem mainly for the fantastically rich, overfed, debt-happy, free-spending, spoiled, lazy, infantilized nations of the west. It's been a different story for people with experience of real rather than academic poverty. In Foreign Policy, the Center for Global Development’s Charles Kenny reports that 19 economies doubled in size between 2000 and 2010:

At the same time, the top 19 countries in the world in terms of decade-long growth saw their GDPs more than double over the ten years from 2000 to 2010. And that top 19 included some really big countries -- not least India and China -- so nearly 2.6 billion people benefited from all of that economic dynamism.

Just as significantly, Africa has been going gangbusters -- though you probably haven't noticed, since the whole region of 49 countries still has a combined economy smaller than the state of Texas. Yet within the club of economies that doubled in size were no less than eight from sub-Saharan Africa, the region traditionally written off as a hopeless economic backwater. Indeed, that region took 17 of the top 40 spots in the decade's global GDP growth rankings; its GDP is 66 percent larger than it was in 2000. Populations have expanded there, too, by around 28 percent over the decade -- but even accounting for more people, the average income in the region is about a third higher than it was 10 years ago.

-Tim Cavanaugh at Reason.
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