Report

How We’re Doing Compared to the Rest of the World

William J. Antholis and Martin S. Indyk

Index #7: Last Four Decades

In the past month, President Obama has pressed the autocratic president of our most important Arab ally to heed the demands of his people and step down, established a workman-like relationship with China’s president, and delivered a State of the Union address that sought to “win the future.” Taken together, these critical events highlight the complexity of America’s global leadership dilemma: whether to cooperate or to compete; whether to partner with some autocrats while pressuring others. Over the past three decades, American presidents have found their ability to deal with these dilemmas affected by the shifting balances of relative power in the international system. In the seventh “How We’re Doing” Index, experts at the Brookings Institution explored some of the key data behind our leading partners and competitors.  <not-mobile message=””>  Continue reading below chart » </not-mobile>

Related Materials: 
Past How We’re Doing indexes »

<not-mobile message=”** To see the full indicator chart, please visit brookings.edu on your desktop **”>

“General Welfare”

1980

1990

2000

2010

U.S. population (thousands)
229,469
254,865
287,842
317,641
China
980,929
1,142,090
1,266,954
1,354,146
India
692,637
862,162
1,042,590
1,214,464
European Union
458,130
471,271
481,403
501,103
Brazil
118,563
146,593
171,280
193,253
Russia
147,700
144,800
140,367
Mexico
67,570
83,226
97,966
108,627
Egypt
40,554
51,360
63,300
78,238
Turkey
42,171
52,436
62,762
71,428
U.S. population growth (decade average)
1.1%
0.9.%
1.2%
1.0%
Russia
-0.2%
-0.3%
European Union
0.5%
0.3%
0.2%
0.4%
China
1.8%
1.5%
1.0%
0.7%
Mexico
3.0%
2.1%
1.7%
1.2%
Brazil
2.4%
2.1%
1.6%
1.2%
Turkey
2.4%
2.2%
1.8%
1.3%
India
2.3%
2.4%
1.7%
1.5%
Egypt
2.2%
2.6%
2.2%
1.9%
U.S. real GDP (per capita, 2005 dollars )
$25,531
$31,926
$39,578
$41,761
(2009 data)
European Union
$16,731
$20,583
$24,929
$27,333
Russia
$12,626
$8,613
$13,611
Mexico
$10,422
$10,121
$12,095
$12,429
Turkey
$5,694
$7,806
$9,409
$11,209
Brazil
$7,572
$7,179
$7,921
$9,455
China
$524
$1,101
$2,667
$6,200
Egypt
$2,432
$3,185
$3,992
$5,151
India
$899
$1,249
$1,776
$2,970
U.S. inflation rate (decade average)
7.9%
4.7%
2.8%
2.4%
China
1.7%
7.2%
7.5%
2.2%
European Union
10.5%
6.8%
2.4%
Mexico
69.1%
18.7%
4.7%
India
8.0%
8.9%
9.1%
6.5%
Brazil
41.7%
613.8%
560.7%
6.7%
Egypt
17.3%
9.0%
8.0%
Russia
197.1%
12.5%
Turkey
34.5%
46.4%
76.4%
18.5%
U.S. unemployment rate
7.2%
5.6%
4.0%
9.3%
China
4.9%
2.5%
4.0%
4.3%
Mexico
1.2%
2.7%
2.2%
5.4%
Brazil
6.5%
3.7%
9.2%
6.7%
Russia
10.6%
7.5%
Egypt
8.0%
9.0%
8.1%
European Union
8.3%
(1991 data)
9.2%
9.6%
India
10.8%
Turkey
7.2%
8.0%
6.6%
14.1%
(2009 data)
U.S. CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita)
21.0
20.1
20.8
19.3
(2007 data)
Russia
15.5
15.8
9.9
10.8
South Korea
3.5
5.6
9.4
10.4
Japan
8.6
9.3
9.7
9.8
European Union
9.9
8.8
8.1
8.1
China
1.5
2.0
2.3
5.0
Mexico
4.1
4.3
4.0
4.5
Turkey
1.6
2.7
3.2
4.0
India
1.5
1.4
1.9
1.9
Brazil
0.4
0.7
1.0
1.4
U.S. current account balance (decade average)
0.0%
-1.9%
-1.8%
-4.6%
European Union
-0.2%
-0.1%
-0.2%
Brazil
-2.1%
-2.0%
-0.6%
India
-1.9%
-1.1%
-0.8%
Egypt
-4.1%
1.2%
1.0%
Mexico
-0.7%
-3.5%
-1.1%
Turkey
-1.0%
-1.1%
-3.4%
China
0.0%
1.5%
5.8%
Russia
4.3%
7.9%


“Common Defense”

1980

1990

2000

U.S. military spending (billions of dollars)
505
377
663
(2009 data)
China
18
31
98
Russia
266
30
61
India
15
22
37
Brazil
12
20
27
Turkey
14
22
19
Mexico
2
4
5
Egypt
3
4
4
U.S. army (# of troops)
774,000
761,100
471,000
662,232
China
3,600,000
2,300,000
1,700,000
1,600,000
India
944,000
1,100,000
1,100,000
1,129,900
South Korea
520,000

Authors

More