Power spells a great difference. When we say that a country belongs to the most powerful countries in the world, it only means it has satisfied many criterions including technological advancement, military power, economic dominance (GDP) and influences, having a myriad of international institutions, and of course external influences politics-wise. Natural resources, population and geographical area are also taken into consideration.
For the nth time, ranking these most powerful countries in the world by their supremacy is highly debatable especially to those who didn’t make it in this list and to those who think their rank must have been higher.
Given that, here are the top 10 most powerful countries in the world in no particular order:
A founding member of the European Union, Italy has great political, diplomatic and cultural influence over its neighboring countries and other countries in the world, being also a member of different international organizations. In the same league as UK, France, Germany and Russia, it has the world’s 8th largest economy and 9th largest budget for its military.
Being the 5th biggest country in the world and the 5th most populous country, it is no doubt that Brazil is one of the high ranking countries in terms of economic stability. It currently ranks 8th and may surge into the 4th place in the next 40 years, thanks to its very rich natural resources especially sugar cane–derived ethanol. It has the largest arm forces in South America, 12th biggest military budget and has close ties with other countries in the world.
Although eradicating illiteracy is still a challenge that fazes India owing it to its very large population of 1.2 billion (second largest next to China), the pros of this is that it has the third largest army in the world and it improves weapons production and military training over time with its military budget that ranks 10th in the world. It is regarded as a sleeping giant due its potential to prove its strength, placing 9th in the GDP ranking next to Italy. Despite the general impression that it is a poor country, it is undergoing swift modernization and is predicted 40 years from now, it may be the third largest economy in the world.
4. United Kingdom
British economy remains formidable at 6th spot, trailing closely next to France and Germany, with its capital, London, being the world’s largest financial centre like New York. Its influence over its many former colonies still perpetuates until today. Its aerospace industry is one of the largest in the world. It has the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world and allots the 3rd biggest military budget, no wonder it has the largest navy and air force in the European Union. It has the second highest power projection capability next to US.
Japan is almost synonymous with advanced technology and too often it is the first country we think of when we mention robots. As a result, and undoubtedly, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, ranking 3rd in GDP next to China, which with the latter is the flag bearer of Asia in the league of economic tigers in the world, despite the fact that it struggles with natural resources, and the heavy losses it experienced in the World War II. It is also the world’s fourth largest exporter and fifth largest importer in the world. Having the 7th biggest military budget and one of the best navies and air forces in the world, it can transform its military into a much powerful one if it wishes so, proven by its participation in the last world war. It has the tenth largest population in the world with almost 128,000,000.
With the 4th largest GDP in the world and being the 2nd largest exporter and 3rd largest importer of goods, Germany indeed is a force to reckon with economically speaking. It has an immense population of more than 80 million in Europe just next to Russia. It is a member of different renowned international and influential organizations and having allocated the third biggest development aid budget, its political power is the same as with US and France. It is has the world’s 6th biggest military budget and one of the best technologies in the world.
France’s political influence is closely the same as US, despite its smaller land area. It thrives on a strong and productive economy, ranking 5th in terms of GDP just next to Germany, and has the 2nd largest Exclusive Economic Zone. It has self-sustaining nuclear arsenals, the 3rd biggest in the world. It has one of the world’s largest and most powerful army, being the 4th biggest spender for military purposes with $67 billion. It also has the healthiest demographic indicators in ageing Europe. It has a say in the UN Security Council and European Union and is very much influential in Africa.
Russia still belongs to the top 20 most formidable economies in the world, safely situated at 11th in the GDP ranking. But what really makes Russia in this list is its nuclear capabilities which is world’s number one, by having the largest nuclear arsenal, and the fifth largest army with more than 1,000,000 troops. It also has vast resource base, which makes it self-sufficient with energy and minerals and forest reserves, the world’s largest actually, and its rich lakes covering the quarter of the world’s freshwater source. Also, it is the largest country in the world by land mass, covering one-ninth of the whole earth and 40% of Europe and expanding through 9 time zones. It also ranks 8th in population with 143 million people. It is allies with former Soviet Union members and holds one of the UN Security Council seats.
China’s economy is continuously skyrocketing over the years, landing on the 2nd place in economic strength, competing neck and neck with USA in terms of GDP. And why not? It relies on its 1.3 billion and continuously increasing population, which is the world’s number one by the way, and which means that one in every six person in the world is a Chinese, that proves its manpower supremacy. Military-wise, it has the largest military force in the world with more than 3,000,000 members, now has the largest navy in the world by warship number and advanced drones and stealth fighters, being the second best spender for its military. China is not to be outdone technologically speaking as it can’t be stopped on its extensive advancement in research and production of renewable energy, high speed railways and supercomputers. It is the fourth largest country with respect to natural resources, holds one of the UN Security Council seats, and has formidable allies in the East and Southeast Asia.
10. United States of America
Nobody would probably contradict when we include US in this list, and perhaps at the top. For one, it has the largest economy in the world (despite the global recession which hit it so hard and from which it is slowly recovering from) and tops the list in terms of GDP by International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It also has the strongest army in the world, having the second largest standing army, navy and air force, the second largest nuclear arsenal but the most technologically advanced nukes, and is one of the largest military weapons producers in the world and banks on a huge military budget (having spent over $700 million in 2009 for its military alone). It is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (and holds one of the 5 seats there) and is technologically advanced as Japan, holding prominent companies like Apple and Microsoft. It has the 4th largest country in the world by area and with its more than 300 million people ranks 3rd in population. It is allies with other powerful countries like Japan, UK, South Korea and others. American movies are watched by millions and millions of people around the world owing to the fact that it is home to the Hollywood and influential international studios like Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures.
With great power comes great responsibility. Very much true indeed. We can only hope that these top 10 most powerful countries in the world will use their power for the betterment and welfare of the denizens of this earth.