Will China Overtake The US? : Planet Money China is so big and growing so fast that many people say it will inevitably become a bigger economy than the U.S. in every way. But there are several good reasons for skepticism.
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Will China Overtake The US?

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Will China Overtake The US?

Will China Overtake The US?

Will China Overtake The US?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/721881130/721886341" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Andy Wong/AP
U.S. and Chinese flags hang outside a hotel during a U.S. presidential election event organized by the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Nov. 7, 2012.
Andy Wong/AP

Right now, the U.S. economy is the biggest in the world. It produces roughly $20 trillion worth of goods and services every year. China produces about $13 trillion worth of goods, so it's still a bit behind.

But China's economy is growing more than twice as fast as America's and China is a much bigger country in terms of land and population. Plug those factors into a spreadsheet, and it seems inevitable that eventually China will have a bigger overall economy than the United States.

George Magnus doesn't agree. He's an academic and the author of a book about China called Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy. And he says there are three reasons why China's rise to overtake the U.S. as the world's largest economy is not inevitable.

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