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In a single chart, why the US will continue to be first among equals in 2030

Steve LeVine

The year 2030 will be a time of diffused power—China will have the largest economy, but multiple actors operating individually, in coalitions and networks will exert much countervailing influence. According to Global Trends 2030, the latest quadrennial consensus of US intelligence agencies, this shift largely reverses the historic rise of the West over the last 250 years. Yet, the report says, when you account for all aspects of global power—hard and soft—the US is likely still to tower over everyone else. The chart above explains why.

China will continue to dominate in pure mass of humanity, while the US will continue to be bigger in research and development, the Internet, foreign investment and military spending.