Dated Published: August 2010

A large population is a common characteristic between the BRIC countries. China and India are the two most populous countries in the world, accounting for 20% and 17.5% of the population, respectively (Table 1). Brazil has the fifth largest population in the world accounting for almost 2.9%, and Russia has the seventh largest population accounting for 2.13% of the global population. Large population and labor supply are major factors leading to BRIC’s rapid economic growth. Considering the development process and its trend, there are several aspects to be discussed: (1) Child Dependency Ratio (CDR). The CDR has obviously decreased during the last two decades. However, CDR in India and Brazil is relatively high, 37.7% and 47.9%, respectively, while Russia and China are significantly lower, 20.8% and 27.7%. The decrease in the CDR indicates that these two latter countries are gradually experiencing the aging of their population, which means that a labor-dependent economy would not be an advantage in the future, especially for China. As we may see, economic growth has no other choice than to rely on the quality of labor; therefore, China must achieve sustainable economic development based on innovation.

In India the improvement of education is very important, it’s estimated that in 2007 adult illiteracy rate reached 34%; (2) Rate of Natural Increase (RNI). During the past two decades the RNI in India surpassed the world’s average, while the other three countries are below this average. Russia’s population witnessed negative growth, annually reducing by 750 thousand people; (3) In Brazil and Russia, the proportion of urban population was 50% higher than the world’s average, 86.5% and 72.8%, respectively. When compared to Brazil and Russia, India and China are still in the process of urbanization. Considerable space and resources, besides urbanization, inevitably achieve increasing returns and market size effects, which, in the next twenty years, will be a new driving force for economic growth in both countries. The accumulation of resources in a given space, arising from the urbanization of the population, inevitably affects income and the size of markets, which constitutes a new driving force for economic growth in both countries over the next 20 years.

Poverty and inequality strongly affect consumption patterns and demand structures. For example, poorer families tend to acquire products and services of lower quality and price, which are compatible with their diminished power of purchase. Demand trends affect a country’s technology choice by determining the productive pattern. Therefore, poverty and inequality affect technological innovation. The BRIC, particularly India, suffers from poverty, where 41.6% of the population is below the $1/day poverty line. In China this rate is 15.9%, in Brazil 5.2%, while Russia is better off with less than 2% of its population below the poverty line. According to the Gini index of 2007, Russia and India are at a relatively reasonable range, around 37%, while China and Brazil’s income distribution gap exceed the “Alarm level”.

Recent Posts

Date Published: February 2024
Фонд Росконгресс, 09.01.2024 1 января 2024 г. Россия приняла эстафету председательства в БРИКС, которое согласно одобренному в августе прошлого года р...
Date Published: December 2023
The rapid growth of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) alliance over the years has spearheaded a new engine for global economic growth...
Date Published: November 2023
Dr BE Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Our continent finds itself in a fast and ever-changing global environment. Many ...