BRICS: Where does South Africa rank?

Heads of State and representatives from the club’s five members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have met for a week of deliberation over common issues and shared interests.

As the host, how does South Africa rank in terms of population and economy?

The BRICS countries make up a sizeable portion of the world’s population.

Figures from the United Nations show that the five BRICS countries are home to just over 3 billion people (42% of the global population).

This is mainly due to the inclusion of China and India. China is the most populated country in the world, with 1,4 billion inhabitants, followed by India at 1,3 billion.

South Africa is the most recent member of BRICS, having joined in December 2010.

The country contributes only 1,8% to the total BRICS population.

China is the also the economic powerhouse in the BRICS bloc.

The country was responsible for producing 67c of every dollar created by the five countries in 2016, according to Gross domestic product (GDP) data from the United Nations.

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South Africa is the smallest economy in the club, producing 2c for every dollar created.

The economic influence of the BRICS bloc on the world stage should not be underestimated.

The five countries had a combined GDP of US$ 16,8 trillion in 2016, comprising 22% of global economic activity.

This is not surprising, as China is ranked as the second largest economy in the world after the United States, according to the United Nations.

India is ranked at 7, Brazil at 9, Russia at 13, and South Africa at 38.


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