This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. The total population presents one overall measure of the potential impact of the country on the world and within its region. Note: Starting with the 1993 Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African) have explicitly taken into account the effects of the growing impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The potential of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to tackle major global challenges – such as poverty, climate change, nature loss and inequality – is immense, yet this potential is far from being reached. To this end, the Forum’s Centre for Global Public Goods is scaling up efforts to proactively engage stakeholders to channel Fourth Industrial Revolution innovations towards positive social, economic and environmental outcomes through a series of initiatives. Frontier 2030 – a new Fourth Industrial Revolution for Global Goals Platform, which this report supports, aims at facilitating the application of advanced technologies to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (herein referred to as the Global Goals).
Experts highlight advances with the potential to revolutionize industry, healthcare and society if some of the many thousands of human volunteers needed to test coronavirus vaccines could have been replaced by digital replicas – one of this year’s Top 10 Emerging Technologies – COVID-19 vaccines might have been developed even faster, saving untold lives. Soon virtual clinical trials could be a reality for testing new vaccines and therapies. Other technologies on the list could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by electrifying air travel and enabling sunlight to directly power the production of industrial chemicals. With “spatial” computing, the digital and physical worlds will be integrated in ways that go beyond the feats of virtual reality.
This report provides an overview of global and regional trends in employment, unemployment, labour force participation and productivity. Key findings are that unemployment is projected to rise after a long period of stability, and that many people are working fewer paid hours than they would like or lack adequate access to paid work. The report also takes a close look at decent work deficits and persistent labour market inequalities, noting that income inequality is higher than previously thought.
The COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting high and rising human costs worldwide, and the necessary protection measures are severely impacting economic activity. As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by –3 percent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis. In a baseline scenario--which assumes that the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and containment efforts can be gradually unwound—the global economy is projected to grow by 5.8 percent in 2021 as economic activity normalizes, helped by policy support. The risks for even more severe outcomes, however, are substantial.
Global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4 percent. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6½ percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020. The adverse impact on low-income households is particularly acute, imperiling the significant progress made in reducing extreme poverty in the world since the 1990s.
The months after the release of the June 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update have offered a glimpse of how difficult rekindling economic activity will be while the pandemic surges. During May and June, as many economies tentatively reopened from the Great Lockdown, the global economy started to climb from the depths to which it had plunged in April. But with the pandemic spreading and accelerating in places, many countries slowed reopening, and some are reinstating partial lockdowns. While the swift recovery in China has surprised on the upside, the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks.
The global economy has suffered a significant slowdown amid prolonged trade disputes and wide-ranging policy uncertainties. While a slight uptick in economic activity is forecast for 2020, the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020 warns that economic risks remain strongly tilted to the downside, aggravated by deepening political polarization and increasing scepticism over the benefits of multilateralism. These risks could inflict severe and long-lasting damage on development prospects. They also threaten to encourage a further rise in inward-looking policies, at a point when global cooperation is paramount.
The Global Competitiveness Report series has since its first edition aimed to prompt policy-makers beyond short term growth and to aim for long-run prosperity. The 2020 special edition is dedicated to elaborating on the priorities for recovery and revival, and considering the building blocks of a transformation towards new economic systems that combine “productivity”, “people” and “planet” targets.
Following its weakest performance since the global financial crisis, the world economy is poised for a modest rebound this year– if everything goes just right.
Hanging over this lethargic recovery are two other trends that raise questions about the course of economic growth: the unprecedented runup in debt worldwide, and the prolonged deceleration of productivity growth, which needs to pick up to bolster standards of living and poverty eradication.
Global growth is set to rise by 2.5% this year, a small uptick from 2.4% in 2019, as trade and investment gradually recover, the World Bank’s semi-annual Global Economic Prospects forecasts. Advanced economies are expected to slow as a group to 1.4% from 1.6%, mainly reflecting lingering weakness in manufacturing.