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Noah Smith

Canada, Tomorrow's Superpower

It just needs more people.
Something to look up to.

Something to look up to.

Source: Wolterfoto/ullstein bild/Getty Images

I just finished reading Adam Tooze’s "The Deluge," a history of how U.S. economic power changed the course of history during the world wars. It’s almost impossible for people today to realize what a big shift this was -- to much of the world's population, the U.S. has always been the Big Country, the driver of markets, innovation and geopolitical stability. 

Right now, U.S. hegemony is waning. With only a quarter the population of China, there is essentially no chance that the U.S. can continue to reign supreme in the economic sphere unless China suffers a stunning collapse. But in the longer run, what shifts can we expect in the balance of economic power? Expect the U.S. to make a comeback, since its openness to immigration allows the country's population to keep growing even after fertility levels out. India’s huge population, of course, will make it a great economic power as well.