With the crisis in the eurozone continuing and the future looking bleak, just how does the continent of Europe compare with the rest of the world?
The answer comes from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, which says the EU’s 27 member states are getting poorer – and the Asia Pacific nations are getting richer.
In their report, ‘The EU in the world’ compares the 27 countries that make up the EU with those of the G20.
The G20 are considered to be world’s largest economies and consist of the EU, along with its four richest economies: Germany, France, Italy and the UK; and Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.
The report makes for fascinating reading and shows that the EU, with 500 million citizens, makes up 7% of the world’s population.
Europeans are living longer
The G20 accounts for 65% and also the top five of the world’s most populous countries.
However, even though the world’s population will soar to 9.6 billion people by 2060, Europe’s population will only grow by 20 million and make up only 5% of the global population, though it will continue to be among the most densely populated areas on the planet.
And by 2060 India will replace China as the most populated country.
When it comes to assessing the world’s GDP figures, the G20 accounted for 65% of the world’s £32,000 billion GDP in 2010 – with the EU accounting for 26% of that figure.
And when it comes to lifespan, most Europeans can expect to live 10 years longer than the global average of 66 years for men and 70 for women.
The real problem in the EU is that while people are staying alive for longer, the birth rates are falling and not replacing the older generations. The EU average is 1.6 when the continent needs 2.1 births per woman.
Asia is getting richer
But when it comes to public debt, the EU has a public deficit of 4.4% while in Saudi Arabia it is 8% and in Japan an incredible 230%.
Those figures are reflected in the analysis of how the G20 economies fared over the last 10 years.
Unsurprisingly, China registered the highest GDP growth between 2000 and 2010 with a 250% increase. India’s GDP doubled in the same period but in Japan, the EU and US, GDP grew by less than 20%.
And prices are also rocketing around the world – in Turkey their prices shot up 5.5 times between 2000-11, in Russia by 3.5 times and in Argentina they nearly tripled. In China, the EU and the United States, consumers saw prices rise by 30%.