Podcast

The Tuesday Podcast: We're Number Two!

People are silhouetted on the Bund - the

Shanghai's Bund district, where historical buildings and banks line the Huangpu River. PHILIPPE LOPEZ/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption PHILIPPE LOPEZ/Getty

On today's Planet Money, we leap 30 years into the future — a time, if current trends persist, when China's economy is bigger than America's.

What does it look like?

We're watching Chinese reality shows dubbed into English, and taking life-saving drugs invented by Chinese scientists. We're exporting more goods to China's growing middle class.

The yuan probably has not supplanted the dollar as the world's reserve currency (and even if it has, it's not the end of the world).

And Chinese people are still much poorer, on average, than people in the U.S.

Today's podcast was inspired by this week's news that China passed Japan to become the world's second-biggest economy. That's important for geopolitics, but it says much less about the standard of living for the people in a country.

In GDP per capita — which says a lot about a country's standard of living — China ranks 100th in the world.

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Here's a list from the IMF of countries around the world ranked on GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity.

  1. Qatar $83,841
  2. Luxembourg $78,395
  3. Norway $52,561
  4. Singapore $50,523
  5. Brunei Darussalam $49,110
  6. United States $46,381
  7. Switzerland $43,007
  8. Hong Kong SAR $42,748
  9. Netherlands $39,938
  10. Ireland $39,468
  11. Australia $38,911
  12. Austria $38,839
  13. Kuwait $38,304
  14. Canada $38,025
  15. Iceland $38,023
  16. United Arab Emirates $36,537
  17. Sweden $35,965
  18. Denmark $35,757
  19. Belgium $35,422
  20. United Kingdom $34,619
  21. Germany $34,212
  22. France $33,679
  23. Finland $33,556
  24. Japan $32,608
  25. Taiwan Province of China $31,834
  26. Greece $29,882
  27. Spain $29,689
  28. Italy $29,109
  29. Cyprus $28,544
  30. Israel $28,393
  31. Korea $27,978
  32. Slovenia $27,654
  33. Bahrain $27,068
  34. New Zealand $26,708
  35. The Bahamas $26,474
  36. Oman $25,110
  37. Czech Republic $24,093
  38. Malta $23,584
  39. Saudi Arabia $23,221
  40. Portugal $21,859
  41. Slovak Republic $21,245
  42. Seychelles $20,411
  43. Trinidad and Tobago $19,818
  44. Equatorial Guinea $18,600
  45. Hungary $18,567
  46. Barbados $18,131
  47. Poland $18,072
  48. Estonia $17,908
  49. Antigua and Barbuda $17,893
  50. Croatia $17,703
  51. Lithuania $16,542
  52. Russia $14,920
  53. Argentina $14,561
  54. Chile $14,341
  55. Libya $14,328
  56. Gabon $14,318
  57. Latvia $14,255
  58. Lebanon $14,226
  59. Botswana $13,992
  60. Malaysia $13,769
  61. Mexico $13,628
  62. St. Kitts and Nevis $13,429
  63. Uruguay $13,163
  64. Belarus $12,737
  65. Mauritius $12,527
  66. Turkey $12,476
  67. Venezuela $12,201
  68. Romania $11,917
  69. Bulgaria $11,900
  70. Panama $11,788
  71. Kazakhstan $11,693
  72. Islamic Republic of Iran $11,172
  73. Grenada $10,712
  74. Serbia $10,635
  75. Costa Rica $10,579
  76. Brazil $10,514
  77. Montenegro $10,393
  78. South Africa $10,244
  79. St. Lucia $10,178
  80. Dominica $10,177
  81. St. Vincent and the Grenadines $9,977
  82. Azerbaijan $9,564
  83. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia $9,171
  84. Colombia $8,936
  85. Dominican Republic $8,896
  86. Jamaica $8,777
  87. Suriname $8,642
  88. Peru $8,638
  89. Tunisia $8,254
  90. Thailand $8,060
  91. Ecuador $7,881
  92. Belize $7,719
  93. El Salvador $7,366
  94. Bosnia and Herzegovina $7,361
  95. Albania $7,164
  96. Tonga $7,061
  97. Algeria $6,869
  98. Guyana $6,688
  99. Namibia $6,614
  100. China $6,567
  101. Ukraine $6,339
  102. Egypt $6,123
  103. Angola $6,117
  104. Kiribati $6,049
  105. Turkmenistan $5,971
  106. Samoa $5,782
  107. Swaziland $5,709
  108. Jordan $5,620
  109. Bhutan $5,212
  110. Armenia $4,966
  111. Maldives $4,894
  112. Syrian Arab Republic $4,887
  113. Guatemala $4,840
  114. Sri Lanka $4,769
  115. Georgia $4,757
  116. Vanuatu $4,737
  117. Morocco $4,604
  118. Paraguay $4,533
  119. Bolivia $4,455
  120. Fiji $4,359
  121. Indonesia $4,157
  122. Honduras $4,151
  123. Republic of Congo $4,146
  124. Cape Verde $3,588
  125. Iraq $3,570
  126. Philippines $3,521
  127. Mongolia $3,481
  128. Vietnam $2,942
  129. India $2,941
  130. Moldova $2,843
  131. Solomon Islands $2,819
  132. Uzbekistan $2,807
  133. Pakistan $2,661
  134. Nicaragua $2,627
  135. Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste $2,522
  136. Djibouti $2,484
  137. Republic of Yemen $2,458
  138. Sudan $2,380
  139. Lao People's Democratic Republic $2,266
  140. Kyrgyz Republic $2,253
  141. Nigeria $2,249
  142. Papua New Guinea $2,167
  143. Cameroon $2,147
  144. Tajikistan $2,104
  145. Mauritania $2,037
  146. Cambodia $2,015
  147. São Tomé and Príncipe $1,814
  148. Senegal $1,743
  149. Kenya $1,730
  150. Côte d'Ivoire $1,674
  151. Chad $1,612
  152. Ghana $1,551
  153. Zambia $1,542
  154. Bangladesh $1,465
  155. Benin $1,445
  156. The Gambia $1,438
  157. Tanzania $1,416
  158. Haiti $1,339
  159. Burkina Faso $1,304
  160. Lesotho $1,218
  161. Nepal $1,205
  162. Myanmar $1,197
  163. Uganda $1,196
  164. Mali $1,173
  165. Comoros $1,160
  166. Rwanda $1,150
  167. Guinea-Bissau $1,068
  168. Guinea $991
  169. Ethiopia $954
  170. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan $935
  171. Mozambique $934
  172. Madagascar $932
  173. Malawi $885
  174. Togo $826
  175. Sierra Leone $759
  176. Central African Republic $745
  177. Niger $719
  178. Eritrea $680
  179. Liberia $424
  180. Burundi $400
  181. Zimbabwe $355
  182. Democratic Republic of Congo $332

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