51 Surprising Facts About Emerging Markets

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The developing economies of the world are full of surprises.

From sheer size and density to quality of life indicators to technology breakthroughs, there are a number of aspects of emerging markets that may surprise U.S. investors. Below are 51 stats about the developing and frontier markets of the world:

There are more Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in China than the U.S.
According to MSCI, Greece is now an emerging market.


MSCI and FTSE disagree on the status of four countries; only FTSE classifies Pakistan as emerging, while only MSCI includes South Korea, Qatar, and Greece in its emerging markets index.
Several emerging markets have a longer life expectancy at birth than the U.S., including South Korea and Chile.
Chile and Uruguay ranked as the 21st least corrupt countries in 2014, just behind the U.S. and ahead of France, Portugal, and Spain.
In 2015, the population of India is expected to increase by approximately 47,000 people each day.
China consumer about 57 million tons of pork annually, which represents about 49 percent of the global total.


Several emerging markets are among the richest countries in the world, as measured by per capita GDP. These include Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
Hungary and the Czech Republic have lower infant mortality rates than the U.S.
Emerging and frontier markets with positive net migration rates include South Africa (2.4 people per 1,000), the Czech Republic (2.3), and Russia (1.7).
Some of the lowest net migration rates belong to Peru (-2.5), Mexico (-1.7), and Pakistan (-1.5).
Many South American countries feature huge concentrations of income among the richest 10 percent, including Colombia (42 percent of wealth), Brazil (42 percent), Mexico (39 percent), and Peru (34 percent). In the U.S., the richest 10 percent controlled about 30 percent of the wealth in 2010.
The majority of the world’s population now lives in Asia:


Indonesia, which consists of 18,307 islands, is the fourth most populous country in the world. Its population is roughly equal to Germany, France, Italy, Canada, and Portugal combined.
Africa currently represents about 16 percent of the global population; that percentage will increase to 20 percent by 2030, 25 percent by 2050, and 40 percent by 2100.
The most represented immigrant groups in the U.S. include Mexico, India, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, and El Salvador.


U.S. politicians born in emerging markets include Senator Michael Bennet (born in India) and Representatives Jim Himes (Peru), Chris Van Hollen (Pakistan), Ted Lieu (Taiwan), and Norma Torres (Guatemala). Senator John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone.
Madeleine Albright, who served as Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, was born in Czechoslovakia.
China currently has about 49 internet users per 100 people. Internet penetration is about 71 percent in Russia, 58 percent in Brazil, and 18 percent in India.
In both Ireland and the Czech Republic, about 80 percent of the population uses the internet.
India, Thailand, and Pakistan account for about 63 percent of global rice exports.
By 2030, India’s population will be larger than the combined populations of the U.S., Japan, United Kingdom,

Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Canada — by about 660 million people.
The largest holders of U.S. Treasurys include China (#1, 1.24 trillion) and Brazil (#5, $257 billion). Oil exporting countries, including mostly emerging and frontier markets, are the fourth largest holder with $298 billion.
Five Fortune 500 CEOs were born in India, including the heads of Pepsi (Indra Nooyi), Mastercard (Ajaypal Singh Banga), SanDisk (Sanjay Mehrotra), Omnicare (Nitin Sahney), and Harman International (Dinesh Paliwal).
China has one official time zone. Following a civil war in 1949, the country consolidated the five time zones into one, which was centered on the richer eastern part of the country.
In the western most Tibet province, daylight begins at around 9:40 am local time on January 1. In the eastern most Heilongjiang province, daylight ends at about 3:20 pm. The following map shows the difference between solar time and standard time:

Anyone crossing the 90-mile border between western China and eastern Afghanistan will experience a time change of 3.5 hours.
Russia is the largest country by area in the world. It is about 68 times larger than the United Kingdom and 45 times larger than Japan.
The distance between the Russian cities of St. Petersburg and Uelen is approximately 3,667 miles– slightly longer than the distance from New York City to Casablanca, Morocco.
Indonesia’s homicide rate of 0.6 per 100,000 people is equal to Switzerland and lower than Sweden (0.7), Italy (0.9), and the U.S. (4.7).
In 1950, Nigeria was the 13th most populous country in the world. Today it is the seventh largest, and by 2050 it will rank behind only India and China.
There are 14 emerging and frontier markets with at least one city larger than New York, including Peru, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Los Angeles would be the 25th largest city in China.
In 1950, Japan was the fifth most populous country in the world. By 2050 it will rank 17th, and by 2100 it will rank 30th.


Between 2015 and 2050, China’s population is expected to decrease by about 2 percent.
There are 31 countries whose populations are expected to double between 2015 and 2050, including Nigeria and Iraq.
The highest expected growth rate during that period belongs to Niger, which is expected to grow from about 20 million people to 72 million people.


Among the 20 countries expected to be the most populous in 2030, only the U.S. (#3) and Japan (#14) are currently classified as developed.


Mumbai, India would be the seventh largest U.S. state.
The city of Manila in the Philippines has a population roughly equal to San Francisco and Jacksonville combined — in an area the size of Lowell, Massachusetts.
The population of Dhaka, Bangladesh is equal to the combined total of 13 U.S. states.
Two Fortune 500 CEOs were born in Turkey: Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola and Hikmet Ersek of Western Union.
Harrison Ford and Richard Gere are reportedly banned from entering China as a result of their public statements in favor of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence.
An estimated 1 billion people worldwide watched the 2015 Cricket World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan — about six times the global audience for the 2015 Super Bowl
In 2012, China received four times more patent applications than the European Patent Office.


Two Fortune 500 CEOs were born in Brazil: Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel and Bernardo Hees of Kraft Heinz.
As of October 2015, Forbes included nine individuals from emerging markets among its 50 richest individuals: Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico, #2), Jorge Paulo Lehman (Brazil, #26), Wang Jianlin (China, #29), Jack Ma (China, #33), Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud (Saudi Arabia, #34), Li Hejun (China, #38), Mukesh Ambani (India, #39), Dilip Shanghvi (India, #44), and Azim Premji (India, #48).
China’s windpower capacity of 115,000 megawatts represents about 31 percent of the global total and nearly twice the total of the U.S.
Only 7 percent of Nigeria’s population is over the age of 55. Approximately 13 percent of Indians are 55 or older. In the U.S. and Japan, 28 percent and 39 percent of the population, respectively, is 55 or older.


Among the ten largest import partners of the U.S. are China (#1), Mexico (#3), South Korea (#6), Saudi Arabia (#8), and India (#10).
The CEO of AES Corporation, which has a market cap of $6.8 billion, was born in Venezuela.

About the Author: Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston is senior analyst for All Emerging Markets, and also serves as COO of parent company Poseidon Financial. His investment expertise has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and USA Today, among other publications. He resides in Chicago.


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