Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics (October 16, 2013)


Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics. Copyright © [2013] Board of Regents, University of Nebraska.


The Chinese economy has experienced unprecedented growth in the past four decades. The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate has averaged ten percent since 1978 when Deng Xiaoping instituted economic reforms, making China’s economy more market-oriented (The World Bank Group, 2013). In 2011, China had the world’s second largest economy after the United States. According to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) (Silverstein, et al., 2013), the two countries accounted for 24 percent and 10 percent of global GDP, respectively. However, while U.S. GDP grew by 1.5 percent in 2011, China’s grew by 9.1 percent. In 2022, the share of China in global GDP is expected to increase to 14 percent, with a GDP growth of eight percent. The U.S. share is expected to decline to 21 percent, with a GDP growth of 2.8 percent. The BCG estimates that a Chinese born in 2009 will consume 38 times more over his or her lifetime than one born in 1960.