01. economy Canada remains one of the most affluent countries in the world, but must invest in its workers and technology to maintain its position.
PER CAPITA RICH, BUT A LOW GROWTH PITCH
Economic growth is often spoken of in the context of the whole, with policymakers and market watchers the world over referencing changes in countries’ gross domestic product (GDP, or the total value of all goods and services produced) as a means of assessing overall well-being. Curiously, there seems to be less of a focus on per capita GDP, which expresses how much countries produce after adjusting for the number of residents that live within their borders. The reality is that such a measure, and changes in it, are better indicators of the well-being of a country’s residents than overall GDP. When compared to our peers in the G20 (a club of 19 individual countries and the European Union), Canada fares well by this
measure, with a per capita GDP of $44,051 placing us in fifth in the rankings. Ahead of us are Australia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and of course, the United States—whose per capita GDP of $55,681 is 26% higher than it is in Canada. We should aspire to higher per capita GDP. However, with it growing by only 0.8% annually over the past 5 years—compared to 1.7% in the US and 6.3% in China�Canada’s economic well-being is improving relatively slowly. An aging demographic makes continued improvements that much more challenging and further reinforces the importance of investing in education and technology that together will help maintain our position among the world’s industrialized elites.
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