La richesse croissante des nations

La nouvelle Penn World Table , version 6.2, vient de paraître. Elle compare le niveau de vie dans différents pays. Les chiffres les plus récents portent sur 2004, et en raison de certains décalages dans la mise au point des statistiques tous les pays ne sont pas inclus. Ces données sont néanmoins très utiles : d’une qualité exceptionnelle, elles tiennent systématiquement compte des différences de prix relatives entre les pays, ce qui donne parfois des résultats surprenants.

Parmi les 82 pays pour lesquels des données 2004 sont disponibles, il y a de très bonnes nouvelles : le PIB réel par habitant a augmenté en moyenne de 18,9 % entre 2000 et 2004, soit 4,4 % par an. De façon générale, le niveau de vie est bien meilleur qu’il y a quelques années. A ce rythme, le PIB réel par habitant devrait doubler tous les 16 ans.

Beaucoup de gens qui ne pouvaient pas s’offrir une voiture en 2000 en ont une aujourd’hui, et ceux qui n’en avaient qu’une en 2000 en ont maintenant deux. Les gens qui ne pouvaient pas scolariser leurs enfants dans un bon établissement en ont aujourd’hui les moyens. Et ainsi de suite pour de nombreux biens et services.

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