I included 4 countries in this sample :
The US because it’s the world’s super-power, France because I live here now, India because its home to me, & finally, China as it is inevitably compared with India almost all the time !
5 broad areas – Geography, Demography, Education, Economy & Labor Force
|Land-mass (‘000 sqkm)||552||2,973||9,569||9,162|
|Water-mass (‘000 sqkm)||1.5||314||27||665|
In terms of total mass,
In terms of Arable land, we find that
– even though the US is 3 times as big as India, its soil is much less fertile, which is why it has made every effort to scientifically advance its capacities for maximizing yield from crops – going so far as to modify the DNA of the food itself to achieve its goals.Seen in a different light, Monsanto & co could have purely economic aims, & nothing to do with securing USA’s food sovereignty.
– India’s land is ~ more than thrice as fertile as China’s, owing to its tremendous river system; so even though China is 3x the size of India, we have roughly the same amount of available arable land. In fact, India has slightly more.
– The US has almost 5 times the # of people as France. India and China have about 20 times as many.
|Pop growth rate||0.53%||1.38%||0.49%||0.97%|
|% of Pop: Urban area||77%||29%||43%||82%|
Urban areas generally provide for a higher standard of living than Rural areas. In most industrialized nations, the majority of the population has access to the best private and public services.
In the next 20 years, India and China together will see ~ 600 million people moving to urban areas.
|Life expectancy (yrs)||81||66.5||74.5||78|
On average, the Chinese live about 8 years longer than Indians, showing one measure of the difference in ‘advancement’ between the two economies. People in most industrial nations live till about 80, some even higher.
|School life exp (y)||16||10||11||16|
|Edu exp (% gdp)||5.60%||3.20%||1.90%||5.50%|
On the positive side, since the 1990s, primary school enrollment has risen by 22% in India, and India is spending more of its resources on education than China is – this is more of a “catch-up”. Not just that, but amongst Brazil, India, China & Russia, Indian Youth – both men & women show much faster acceleration in literacy than anywhere else.Overall, India has a 61% literacy rate for adults, but for the youth (ages 15-24), the rate has climbed to 76% (as of 2006) Further, for women, this difference is even more stark : average adult rate of literacy is 48%, but for young women, it is 68% – a whole 20pts higher. Another major factor affecting education for young women has been the rate of teenage pregnancies. For 15-19 year olds, the fertility rate fell from nearly 100% in mid 1990s to just over 60% currently – in 15 years.
On the other hand – if we look at the % of all university graduates that have science or engineering degrees, this # is 40% in China, whereas “only” 23% in India. This too will have to change – in quantitative, but esp qualitative terms.
Economy & Labor force
|GDP PPP ($ trillion)||2.16||4.05||9.85||14.7|
|Indebtedness to rest of the world ($ trillion)||5.0||0.2||0.3||13.5|
I don’t subscribe to the ‘GDP’ measure per se, but it still is the generally accepted (and available) benchmark of how “well” a country is doing, economically. A nation’s GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States.
|Labor force (millions)||28||467||813||154|
|% of population||45%||40%||61%||50%|
|%, # in Agriculture||4% / 1.1||52% / 243||40% / 321||0.7% / 1.1|
|%, # in Industry||24% / 7||14% / 65||27% / 221||20% / 31|
|%, # in Services||72% / 20||34% / 160||33% / 268||79% / 122|
Here, we can see the massive size of labor available in India & China
Of note is the rate of addition to this labor force – India is set to provide the largest increase to the global labor force over the next few decades, with an estimated 110 million increase in the 2010-20 decade alone. (sending full note separately) As with France, USA and other advanced economies, India, China & other Asian nations will utilize more of their labor pool towards the service sector, and decrease labor in agriculture.
(published July 2010). Page 3 has an exec summary. Report also has some interesting appendices (p32-40)