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Just 45% Know That U.S. Has World’s Biggest Economy

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The United States of America boasts the world’s largest economy, but fewer than half the nation’s voters recognize this fact.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 45% of voters know the United States has the world’s largest economy. Another 34% say it’s not true, and 21% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But the actual figures show it’s not even close. According to estimates from the International Monetary Fund, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States is approximately $14.6 trillion. That’s more than double the GDP for the second largest economy, China, which totals an estimated $5.7 trillion. Close behind China is Japan at $5.4 trillion. The largest economy in Europe is found in Germany with a GDP of $3.3 trillion. If you add all the European nations together, their combined economy is roughly the size of the U.S. economy.

Most men (57%) recognize that the United States has the world’s largest economy, but a plurality of women (40%) incorrectly believe it’s not true. Most Americans over 50 recognize that the U.S. economy is number one, but most under 30 say it’s not true. Those in their 30s and 40s are fairly evenly divided.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Political Class voters know America has the biggest economy, while Mainstream voters are narrowly divided on the question.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 4-5, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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