World Superpowers 2021

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World superpowers, also called global superpowers, are the world’s most powerful nations that have the most influence over the world. These countries’ have dominant positions characterized by their ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. These countries’ moves are watched closely by the entire world, especially their military and foreign policies, as they can greatly impact the rest of the world. Global superpowers are financially stable enough to assist nations that need humanitarian or humanitarian aid and are also strong technologically and educationally.

Economically, superpowers have GDPs in the trillions. GDP, or gross domestic product, represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a period and is one of the most common indicators to track the health of a country’s economy. For example, the United States, the largest economy in the world, has a GDP of about $20.5 trillion.

The term “global superpowers” first appeared after World War II, applying to the United States and the Soviet Union. The U.S. and the USSR dominated world affairs during the Cold War, and only the U.S. remained a “superpower” after the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991.

The United States

The United States is considered to be the one true global superpower today. The U.S. is the world’s most dominant military and economic power with a military budget of US$686.1 billion for 2019 and a GDP of US$20.5 trillion.

The United States spends more on defense than China, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany combined (the next largest defense spenders).

President Trump’s policies on immigration and foreign trade as well as his foreign policy and military decisions have drawn a lot of attention from around the world, including the United States’ closest allies. Some of these include withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, issuing a travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., leaving the Paris climate accord, and a series of military decisions that include an early January 2020 drone strike on Iran.

China

China is considered to be an emerging superpower or a “potential superpower.” Some even argue that China will pass the United States as a global superpower in the coming decades. China’s GDP is $13.6 trillion, the second-highest in the world. It is also the most populous country in the world and the second-largest by landmass.

While China’s defense spending is significantly lower than that of the United States at $250 billion, it is still the second-highest in the world. Additionally, China makes up for it with its increasing diplomatic pushes, its rise to one of the largest contributors to the global economy, and its technological advances, especially with artificial intelligence (AI).

Russia

Russia is another potential global superpower. Russia is the world’s largest country by landmass, covering most of northern Asia and Eastern Europe and shares borders with over a dozen countries. Its GDP is $1.7 trillion and its population is about 144.5 million people.

Different world leaders, scholars, and journalists disagree about whether Russia is a potential superpower or if it is already a superpower. The late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, stated that Russia is a superpower in 2009, citing the U.S.’s waning influence in global affairs. Matthew Fleischer of the Los Angeles Times argued in 2014 that Russia would only become a superpower if climate change melted the permafrost that currently covers about two-thirds of the country, revealing plentiful stores of natural gas, oil, and precious minerals, allowing the country to control the world’s supply of these resources.

Others argue that Russia is not even a potential superpower since it has trade relations of a Third World country, a much smaller GDP than China or the United States (about 8% of the United States), and no highly rated universities, among others things.

European Union

The European Union (EU) is considered to be an emerging superpower by scholars; however, reaching a status of a global superpower in the 21st century has greatly been slowed down because of the euro crisis and Brexit. The EU’s 2018 GDP is 18.8 trillion, closely following that of the United States. Although the EU doesn’t have a combined army (yet), several of its members have very substantial military capabilities, such as those of Germany, the UK, and France.

Despite this, some argue that the EU might not be sustainable with so many member nations, each of which has differing economic and political interests and priorities. Additionally, the EU lacks a unified foreign policy and cannot project military power worldwide (as of right now).

India

India is a potential global superpower. India is the world’s second-most populous nation and is expected to pass China’s population by 2025. India has matched its growing population with significant economic growth and has the largest and youngest workforce in the world. Additionally, India has built up its military to feel secure against its enemies surrounding its borders, such as Pakistan and China. The Indian military boasts about 100 nuclear warheads and two aircraft carriers, indicating that India is one of the few nations in the world that is capable of projecting military influence anywhere.

In addition to its growing population, a booming economy, and strengthened military force, India also has more billion-dollar start-up business than everywhere in the world, only third to the U.S. and China.

While the United States is considered to be the one, true global superpower in the world, several nations are looking to become part of the club in the 21st century.

World Superpowers 2021

Country 2021 Population
China1,444,216,107
India1,393,409,038
United States332,915,073
Indonesia276,361,783
Pakistan225,199,937
Brazil213,993,437
Nigeria211,400,708
Bangladesh166,303,498
Russia145,912,025
Mexico130,262,216
Japan126,050,804
Ethiopia117,876,227
Philippines111,046,913
Egypt104,258,327
Vietnam98,168,833
DR Congo92,377,993
Turkey85,042,738
Iran85,028,759
Germany83,900,473
Thailand69,950,850
United Kingdom68,207,116
France65,426,179
Tanzania61,498,437
Italy60,367,477
South Africa60,041,994
Kenya54,985,698
Myanmar54,806,012
South Korea51,305,186
Colombia51,265,844
Uganda47,123,531
Spain46,745,216
Argentina45,605,826
Sudan44,909,353
Algeria44,616,624
Ukraine43,466,819
Iraq41,179,350
Afghanistan39,835,428
Canada38,067,903
Poland37,797,005
Morocco37,344,795
Saudi Arabia35,340,683
Uzbekistan33,935,763
Angola33,933,610
Peru33,359,418
Malaysia32,776,194
Mozambique32,163,047
Ghana31,732,129
Yemen30,490,640
Nepal29,674,920
Venezuela28,704,954
Madagascar28,427,328
Cameroon27,224,265
Ivory Coast27,053,629
North Korea25,887,041
Australia25,788,215
Niger25,130,817
Taiwan23,855,010
Sri Lanka21,497,310
Burkina Faso21,497,096
Mali20,855,735
Malawi19,647,684
Chile19,212,361
Romania19,127,774
Kazakhstan18,994,962
Zambia18,920,651
Syria18,275,702
Guatemala18,249,860
Ecuador17,888,475
Senegal17,196,301
Netherlands17,173,099
Cambodia16,946,438
Chad16,914,985
Somalia16,359,504
Zimbabwe15,092,171
Guinea13,497,244
Rwanda13,276,513
Benin12,451,040
Burundi12,255,433
Tunisia11,935,766
Bolivia11,832,940
Belgium11,632,326
Haiti11,541,685
South Sudan11,381,378
Cuba11,317,505
Dominican Republic10,953,703
Czech Republic10,724,555
Greece10,370,744
Jordan10,269,021
Azerbaijan10,223,342
Portugal10,167,925
Sweden10,160,169
Honduras10,062,991
United Arab Emirates9,991,089
Tajikistan9,749,627
Hungary9,634,164
Belarus9,442,862
Papua New Guinea9,119,010
Austria9,043,070
Israel8,789,774
Switzerland8,715,494
Serbia8,697,550
Togo8,478,250
Sierra Leone8,141,343
Hong Kong7,552,810
Laos7,379,358
Paraguay7,219,638
Libya6,958,532
Bulgaria6,896,663
Lebanon6,769,146
Nicaragua6,702,385
Kyrgyzstan6,628,356
El Salvador6,518,499
Turkmenistan6,117,924
Singapore5,896,686
Denmark5,813,298
Republic of the Congo5,657,013
Finland5,548,360
Norway5,465,630
Slovakia5,460,721
Oman5,223,375
Palestine5,222,748
Liberia5,180,203
Costa Rica5,139,052
Ireland4,982,907
Central African Republic4,919,981
New Zealand4,860,643
Mauritania4,775,119
Panama4,381,579
Kuwait4,328,550
Croatia4,081,651
Moldova4,024,019
Georgia3,979,765
Eritrea3,601,467
Uruguay3,485,151
Mongolia3,329,289
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,263,466
Jamaica2,973,463
Armenia2,968,127
Qatar2,930,528
Albania2,872,933
Puerto Rico2,828,255
Lithuania2,689,862
Namibia2,587,344
Gambia2,486,945
Botswana2,397,241
Gabon2,278,825
Lesotho2,159,079
North Macedonia2,082,658
Slovenia2,078,724
Guinea Bissau2,015,494
Latvia1,866,942
Bahrain1,748,296
Equatorial Guinea1,449,896
Trinidad And Tobago1,403,375
Timor Leste1,343,873
Estonia1,325,185
Mauritius1,273,433
Cyprus1,215,584
Eswatini1,172,362
Djibouti1,002,187
Fiji902,906
Reunion901,686
Comoros888,451
Guyana790,326
Bhutan779,898
Solomon Islands703,996
Macau658,394
Luxembourg634,814
Montenegro628,053
Western Sahara611,875
Suriname591,800
Cape Verde561,898
Maldives543,617
Malta442,784
Brunei441,532
Belize404,914
Guadeloupe400,020
Bahamas396,913
Martinique374,745
Iceland343,353
Vanuatu314,464
French Guiana306,448
New Caledonia288,218
Barbados287,711
French Polynesia282,530
Mayotte279,515
Sao Tome And Principe223,368
Samoa200,149
Saint Lucia184,400
Guam170,179
Curacao164,798
Kiribati121,392
Micronesia116,254
Grenada113,021
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines111,263
Aruba107,204
Tonga106,760
United States Virgin Islands104,226
Seychelles98,908
Antigua And Barbuda98,731
Isle of Man85,410
Andorra77,355
Dominica72,167
Cayman Islands66,497
Bermuda62,090
Marshall Islands59,610
Northern Mariana Islands57,917
Greenland56,877
American Samoa55,100
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544
Faroe Islands49,049
Sint Maarten43,412
Monaco39,511
Saint Martin39,234
Turks And Caicos Islands39,231
Liechtenstein38,250
San Marino34,017
Gibraltar33,698
British Virgin Islands30,421
Palau18,169
Cook Islands17,565
Anguilla15,117
Tuvalu11,931
Wallis And Futuna11,094
Nauru10,876
Saint Barthelemy9,907
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,766
Montserrat4,977
Falkland Islands3,533
Niue1,619
Tokelau1,373
Vatican City800

World Superpowers 2021