The term “BRIC” is an acronym formed with the initial letters of the four major emerging market countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. It was coined in 2001 by Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, and has been widely used ever since. The four BRIC states hold annual meetings, in which South Africa has also been participating since 2011, prompting the alternative nomenclature “BRICS”. Despite this however, the original term “BRIC countries” remains more commonly used.
The total combined population of the four BRIC states was estimated to constitute around 40 percent of the total global population in 2014. Additionally, the economic development seen in the BRIC countries is posing an ever increasing challenge to the status of the United States as the foremost global economic power. With the GDP in 2015 creeping up to over 16 billion U.S. dollars – almost the same amount the United States generated in the same year –, and quickly increasing growth rates, the possibility is becoming ever more real.
As of now, the GDP per capita in the industrialized countries is still significantly higher than that of the BRIC states. However, the four BRIC countries are estimated to be among, if not the, leading economies by 2050 - the are among the countries with the largest GDP in 2016 already.
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