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China to Leapfrog 56 Nations During Quarter-Century Income Surge

  • Asia’s dramatic rise in living standards seen in IMF GDP data
  • Latin America, Middle East fare poorly as U.S. holds its place
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China’s surging economy is set to overtake 56 countries in the world’s per-capita income rankings during the quarter-century through 2025, the International Monetary Fund projects.

By that date, China will rank 70th in the world on the metric, putting it close to joining the richest one-third of nations, according to data analyzed by Bloomberg from last month’s IMF World Economic Outlook.

The Asian powerhouse is forecast to have per-capita GDP, adjusted for purchasing power, equal to $25,307 in 2025. That will take it past Argentina, one of the richest countries in the world a century ago and now mired in debt and currency crises.

Jim O’Neill, the former head of Global Economic Research at Goldman Sachs Inc. who famously created the BRICs acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2001, says that bloc “could become collectively bigger than the G-7 countries” in the 2030s, referring to the Group of Seven richest nations. “This is almost exclusively because of China, and to a smaller degree India,” he says.