Over the last month or so, we've seen stories that the two big BRIC economies of India and China are slowing down. However, a fundamental question that we have not answered is this: why are the BRICs -- and more importantly India and China -- so important?
The first answer is population. Consider these charts of total population:
The combined total of the Chinese and Indian population is about 2.5 billion. That comprises about 37% of the world's 6.8 billion population -- a very significant number. More importantly, that number is 66% of the population of the 10 largest economies in the world.
In addition, from a purchasing power parity perspective, China is the third largest and India is the fourth largest economy in the world.
A slowdown that effects this many people is bound to hurt. And, most importantly, there are no countries of comparable size to take the reins.