Some parts of the world pretty much sailed through the 2008-2009 recession, while other parts of the world had huge problems. The part that sailed through the recession is what I call the “Growing Part of the World.”
I thought it would be interesting to see how the countries in the “Growing Part of the World” have behaved over the long term with respect to a number of variables (energy, GDP, and population). I compare these countries to two other groups of countries which did not fare as well during the 2008-2009 recession:
- European Union 27, United States and Japan
- Former Soviet Union (FSU)
Together these three groups equal the whole world, which is why I call the Growing Part of the World “Remainder” on my charts.
Figure 1 (below) shows that GDP growth rates have been quite different over the long term for the three groups, with the growth rate of the Growing Group higher than that of EU, US and Japan. The FSU’s growth rate has been more variable. Thus, it is not just during the 2008-2009 recession that the groups were different.
Figure 1 – Annual per cent increase in real GDP by area, based on USDA Economic Research Service data. “Remainder” corresponds to the Growing Part of the World.
The charts I have prepared show huge differences in variables besides GDP growth: in population levels, growth rate of population, and types of energy used, for example. The amount of energy for each unit of GDP varies widely, as does the pattern over time. While the FSU and the “EU, US & Japan” grouping show lower energy consumption for each unite of GDP over time, the Growing Group in total does not.
At the end of this post, I explain the reasons that why the Growing Part of the World seems to be doing so much better than the world economically and offer my view of what its prospects are for the future.