Less Than Half of Americans Think US Will Be #1 For Long

Posted: Nov 05, 2013 1:30 PM

A new poll shows that Americans still think America is the world's dominant economic power, but not for long. Only 43% believe the US will still be #1 in five to seven years.

The Street was behind the recent poll, which took into account 1,005 Americans' responses to questions about the "world's dominant economic power."

Overall, 59% said the US is currently at the top, while 28% chose China. In estimating for 2018 to 2020, America's numbers went down to 43% and China's went up to 36%. There is a margin of error of three percentage points for all values.

The richer and younger respondents were more likely to favor China. The poorest demographic, those making under $25,000 a year, was the only one with a majority (52%) that believed the US would still be dominant in five to seven years. The next closest demographic was the oldest, those who are at least 65, of whom 50% believed in America's future leading status.

Some respondents mentioned that other economies besides China's could overtake the US in five to seven years, including India (3.4%), Russia (2.2%), the eurozone (1.9%), and South America (1.6%).

According to 2012 data, the US economy is still twice as the large as the second largest, China's. Yet it is apparent that the American public does not believe that will remain true for much longer.

Although this study may seem bleak to some, it is much more optimistic than a Pew poll from earlier this year that showed Americans already believed China was dominant. Even the US government estimates that China will surpass America by 2030.

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