The Data Behind Emerging Economies
In the 2000s, Goldman Sachs identified two groups of national economies, BRICS and MINT, as uniquely poised to lead the global economy in the 21st Century.
I wanted to get a closer look at the data behind why Goldman Sachs recognized these economies. Sometimes (often) economic data can be pretty dense and complex, so in visualizing the following data, I endeavored to make things as accessible and meaningful as possible.
Who are we talking about?
How Does Internet Access Affect the Ease of Doing Business in Emerging Economies?
I wanted to look at a couple of factors I guessed would affect the emergence of these economies. As you can see from the graph below, there's a correlation between countries' access to the internet and how easy it is to do business there, but not as much correlation with the level of corruption.
(Note that the Ease of Doing Business Index is a discrete index, where each country occupies a single spot on the ranking, while Internet Access is a per-capita measure, so the y-axis is a bit of artificial incrementation. The correlation, however, is real).
Ease of Doing Business is an aggregate ranking that ranks business regulations in many countries. It takes into account several factors related to ease, including starting a business, getting credit, and paying taxes. A lower number means it’s easier to do business in the country.
Nigeria’s high age-dependency ratio (vs. rest of MINT), Compared with GDP Growth
Nigeria is unique among the 9 BRICS and MINT nations in that it has a very high age-dependency ratio, which means a much higher share of Nigerians are of working age than those who aren’t. This means a much larger share of 182 million Nigerians are contributing to the society than similar-sized countries with lower age-dependency rates. This is one key to Nigeria’s strong economy.
Percentage of Residents Connected to the Internet, Normalized to World’s Rate
The chart above, showing the correlation between Ease of Doing Business and Internet Access, proves why this data here is so critical to the emerging economies. The ability of residents to connect to the internet is perhaps the strongest sign of a developed country in the 21st Century. The chart below shows a great disparity between Russia and India, with India more than 5% below the national average — which is huge when the size of the population is considered.