The riches of a country can often be quantified by the level of population because an increasing level of population could usually lead to more economic activity. It can also be measured by the amount of natural resources present in a country. Lastly, we can also look at the economic indices, particularly the GDP to ascertain how rich a country is.
And these three indices are what we use to analyze the issue of Nigeria and USA, in terms of which of them is richer.
There’s often a positive correlation between a higher level of population and a higher level of economic activity in a country.
In Nigeria, the current population world bank statistics put it’s population at 206 million people. While in America, the current population is put at 329 million people. Now, these figures show that clearly, America has a higher population than Nigeria and should, in fact, have a higher level of economic output.
However what happens if we look at their population projection? Three decades from now. It is projected that the population of Nigeria is expected to double and reach 400 million by the year 2050 and the population of America according to the US census board is projected to reach 458 million by the same year.
Now, the American projected population level is dependent on a lot of factors. Chief of those factors is the immigration levels as lower immigration levels can indeed push the population of America down and match that of Nigeria by 2050.
So theoretically, it is possible that 30 years from today, Nigeria can indeed catch up with America in terms of population. And this favorably put Nigeria in a position of higher economic output down the line.
Value of natural resources
The amount of natural resources in a country, if well managed, can have a positive impact on the economy or richness of that country. Nigeria is still largely an unexplored country and there isn’t any available figure to put a value on the ENTIRE natural resources of Nigeria.
But Nigeria is one of the highest oil-producing countries of the world as a is the United States. So we can use oil and gas resolve to measure which of these countries has a higher reserve of resources.
Per OPEC data, the oil reserve in Nigeria is 37 billion barrels. While its natural gas of Nigeria is at 5.7 trillion cubic meters. We can loosely conclude the the figures for both countries is fairly equal as the
United States has about 43.8 billion barrels of proven oil. But the gas reserve is more than doubled that of Nigeria as the USA has a gas reserve of 14T cubic meters.
So going by this figure alone, we can see that the US has much more natural resources than Nigeria at least in terms of oil and gas.
However what you need to consider is that the United States of America is 10 times bigger the Nigeria in terms of landmass which means they should generally have more resources. Moreover, Nigeria is still exploring much more of its oil reserve and more oil reserves are still being discovered.
While we understand that the world is moving towards electric cars. That is not going to happen soon. Because even the Biden administration has been given out oil licenses and Nigeria’s richest man is building the biggest oil refinery in the world.
GDP of each country
The total monetary or market value of all finished goods and services produced inside a countries borders, in a certain period of time is known as GDP. It serves as a comprehensive scorecard of a country’s economic health because it is a wide measure of the entire domestic production.
This domestic production is different for both countries. In Nigeria, for example, the GDP stands at 432 billion while the GDP of the United States of America stands at 21 trillion dollars. It can be deduced therefore that the GDP of America is a massive 48 times bigger than that of Nigeria.
What will happen when Nigeria’s population catches up with America is yet to be ascertained but it looks more likely that in the coming decades. This huge economic gap will only continue to shrink.
We can see that in terms of population, the US is much bigger than Nigeria. In terms of the value of natural oil and gas reserve, America has the upper hand. And in terms of the GDP, there is a Golf between the value for both countries.
So we can indeed conclude that the United States of America is a much richer country than Nigeria. But what happens decades down the road is yet to be as ascertained and the only conclusion that we can draw is that this gap will shrink down the road.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.