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China boasts the world's second-largest economy. It is the largest trading nation in the world, the largest manufacturing economy, the largest exporter, and has the world's fastest growing consumer market. The country produces and uses 60% of the world's cement, 46% of the world's coal, and its railway tracks could twice circle the earth.
But China's GDP growth rate is slowing this year, now on track to slip to a 25-year low in 2015 of under 7%.
Meanwhile, an unlikely economic force is growing - it out-earned China's economy by 40% in 2014 alone...
The "global female economy" - that is, the amount of money earned by women worldwide - came in at $15 trillion last year, according to US Trust. It crushed China's GDP growth rate by 40%, making the female economy larger than any country's other than that of the United States.
"Well of course," you might say. "Women make up half the world's population. It's not fair to compare their output to that of a single nation's."
Here's the thing - while 50% of the global population is indeed female, women only earn 10% of the world's income. They own less than 2% of the world's property.
Right now, women globally only have a 50% labor participation rate, compared to the 80% to 90% male rate (according to 2014 data, which is the most recent available). That's actually an improvement on 47% the year before. It also means there's a lot more room for improvement...
And when women work, economies grow.
If education, childcare, the wage gap, and other issues that hold women back from the entering the workforce were to improve globally, massive economic potential would be let loose:
- According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), further closing the labor participation gender gap would add 12% to the gross domestic product of the 20 OECD nations (including the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the UK, and others).
- A 2011 study (Hsieh et al.) showed that 17% to 20% of U.S. economic growth between 1960 and 2008 is due to the changing allocation of underrepresented groups in the workforce, including women.
- A 2010 report from McKinsey & Co. showed that companies with gender-balanced executive committees have a 56% higher operating profit compared to companies with male-only companies. McKinsey also found that firms with three or more women in top executive positions scored higher than their peers in an index of organizational health.
- According to Harvard Business Review in 2012, female entrepreneurs bring in 20% more revenue with 50% less money invested.
Social Security's COLA Math Is a Joke: The Cost of Living Adjustment is meant to ensure that Social Security checks keep pace with inflation. Yet seniors have seen a 74% increase in expenses since 2000 while benefits have risen just 43%. The problem is how this measure is calculated...