Brazil’s Economy now Larger than the UK’s

Via the BBC:  Brazil economy overtakes UK, says CEBR

Brazil has overtaken the UK as the world’s sixth largest economy, an economic research group has said.


Brazil has a population of about 200 million, more than three times the population of the UK.

Brazil’s economy grew by 7.5% last year, but the government has cut its growth forecast for 2011 to 3.5% after the economy ground to a halt in the third quarter, with analysts blaming the country’s high interest rates and the worsening situation in the eurozone.

On the one hand, this is part of the ongoing shift in relative economic power in the world and the specific rise of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, China, and India).

On the other, while raw economic output is an important measure, I still think that GDP per capita is the better measurement of overall economic development.  As noted above Brazil’s population is “three times” the size of the UK’s, as such the economic output of the average Briton is produces more economic output than does the average Brazilian.  Likewise, the standard of living in the UK is, on balance, higher than in Brazil.  Such things need to be taken into account when evaluating the overall economic picture.

Having said that, the growth in question for Brazil is quite impressive, especially to anyone who has been paying attention to Brazil’s long-term economic path.

The piece also has the following rankings and projections, which underscores the rise of the BRIC countries:


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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. michael reynolds says:

    I think most of this is due to Brazil’s lead in vital thong technology.

  2. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes, the “Zappos .com” website is thriving and the sandals are very creative, aren’t they? 😉

  3. Ben Wolf says:

    Brazil had been pursuing policies emphasizing its domestic economy, attempting to close the virtuous cycle of demand = wage and spending growth = greater demand, and it has been working. Of late the government has started adopting neo-liberal measures which combat inflation but tend do decouple GDP growth from consumer demand, so I’m not surprised to see a downgrade in expected future growth.