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US to Lose #1 Economic Ranking to China by 2030: Study

Nicole Goodkind
Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012 | 2:19 PM ET
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A new assessment of global trends by The National Intelligence Council predicts that the U.S. will lose its place as the world's top economy by 2030. If China's GDP continues growing at its current pace, the republic will become the lead economic power within the next 20 years.

But the study also says China will not overtake the U.S. as the global hegemon. The era of the "one nation to rule them all" mentality will end: for the first time since WWII the U.S. will belong to a multi-polar world.

The study goes on to suggest that a growing political partnership between the U.S. and China will be essential in ensuring global security. China's military will increase alongside its economy and the U.S. will be forced to relinquish some of its power as the world's largest military force. It will be up to the U.S. and China to work collaboratively to prevent imminent global disasters.

By 2030, 15 countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan will be at high risk for state failure and terrorists will become more sophisticated in their attacks, taking down entire power grids and large pieces of infrastructure according to the study.


China's rising middle class will continue to grow and gain access to communications technology and healthcare. This highly educated middle class will want to collaborate with the United States instead of fight against them, the study predicts. Unlike Russia, the Chinese are much more accepting of U.S. intelligence reports, assessments, and collaborations.

America will no longer lead the world single-handedly by 2030 but the country will achieve an energy surplus that will allow it to assume independence from OPEC and boost its natural gas and oil exports. Shale extraction will be a breakout industry for the U.S. in the coming decade.

The study also says that developing nations such as Brazil, India, Colombia, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey "will become especially important to the global economy.

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