Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Liberia's Arrow Points Backwards

Reposted from the October 2 article in The Economist online, citing a recent report by the World Bank, which compares the increase in GDP per capita with rates of urbanization in Asian Tigers (and China) with sub-Saharan African countries. Strikingly, the African economies do not correlate GDP growth with increasingly urbanized populations, as is markedly the case in the major ASEAN economies and China. Only Ethiopia and Ghana show any similarity, with tiny Guinea-Bissau joining Cameroon and Kenya only slightly tilted in the same direction. Massive Nigeria points straight upwards, stagnating even as its cities have boomed. Zimbabwe and Madagascar actually show a decrease in GDP per capita as those states have urbanized, while the most dramatic outlier is Liberia, which saw a rapid decrease in GDP even as the country's urbanization shot up. The Civil conflict is, of course, major cause of this.

Updated: This was also posted on The Atlantic which has a link to the World Bank's Tumblr.

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