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Top 10 Surprising Countries To Be The Next Super Power By 2050

Updated on February 26, 2016

Who will be the next global super power in 2050? There are many factors to consider from military spending to standard of living. Assuming that by the year 2050 almost all countries will reach a necessary level of technology, wars will be fought differently, economies will be contrasting, and the world will shrink in size. Businesses will migrate to countries that better suit their needs. Citizens of one country will decide to pack their bags and leave for greener pastures in another country. Retirees will become expats and move to locations that are more ideal for them. As the world gets smaller and more interconnected the stakes become higher. This world will no longer be what it is now. Oil will be in low demand and new resources will take on a stronger role in the global economy. This is a list of 10 countries that could be a contender to be the next world super power.


10) New Zealand

First on the list has one of the toughest immigration policies possible. New Zealand doesn't just let any random person wander into their country. Immigrants will be either skilled workers, hold a degree, or be investing millions of dollars into the economy through new businesses or existing businesses. Multiply this system by another 35 years and you can see where this is going. New Zealand is recruiting the best and the brightest to be part of their country and to push their economy. They also have one of the highest standards of living currently at number 9 on the Human Development Index (HDI), and moving up.

The main challenge to New Zealand becoming a super power is their low population and small military. They do however have no real threat to them and vast amounts of water surrounding them for protection. They are allies with their nearest neighbors. As mentioned before, if we consider that wars will be fought differently in the future then we have to also consider that brute military force may not be the number one factor for being a super power.

Another aspect to contemplate is the fact that large militaries and even intelligence firms are becoming corporations for hire. Think of how quickly a military could pad itself simply by hiring an army or intelligence agency from outside their borders. The mercenary movement is growing; they just call it something else. New Zealand has the lure of beauty and philosophies that many people wish to be part of.


9) Mexico

Mexico has had its shortcomings for sure. Government corruption and drug violence throughout the nation. Missing money from state agencies handed down by federal agencies. What could Mexico possibly have going for it?

Just because Mexico isn't fighting an external enemy doesn't mean their military is inexperienced. Their marines and other armed forces are actively involved in anti drug operations often. They currently have the 7th largest navy in the world and are prospected to have one of the largest economies on the entire planet. They have space, they have manpower and they have resources. Mexico is the lead exporter in silver. Speculations have occurred on the rise of precious metals when economies begin to fall. This potentially could raise the value of silver along with the fact that silver is being increasingly used more and more in computers and various technologies.

Mexico is also reworking its entire legal system which has already been restructured in several states. If this is done right, Mexico may see reduction in corruption and large scale drug organizations, hence transferring the power back into the right hands that control the future.


8) Germany

One of the most beautiful countries on Earth appears on the list with good measure. Germany was forced to accept certain doctrines after WWII. With those changes a shift on economic power and standard of living became the focus. Germany rates number 6 on the Human Development Index and number 3 on the Global presence index for military power. It is also ranked as the 4th largest exporter of in agricultural products and has the 4th largest economy.

Germany ranks number 9 in total military expenditures. The challenging aspect of their current military is that a portion of its history used to be through conscription. Most Germans enter some kind of civil service for a short period of time to serve their countries in various ways. This led to a very inexperienced military. That was all changed in 2011 with the end of conscription and began an era of searching for career soldiers. With the instability in the Ukraine, Germany has a great argument to increase their military power and begin proper counter measures which just may lead Germany on the path to being the next super power.


7) France

France is similar to Germany in many ways. It is number 5 on the Global Index for military power and has the 6th largest navy. It is also estimated to have the third most nuclear weapons. France, like Germany, exports a large amount of agricultural products and ranks number 2 on the list. France is number 7 in total military expenditures and has the 6th largest economy. It is no surprise that France and Germany would be next to each other on the top 10 list. To top it off, both countries are allies and work together on many joint ventures to include counter terrorism.

France has one other unique factor that could play a role in the future. France allows the recruitment of foreign soldiers to serve for France under the French Foreign Legion. Usually the FFL is reserved to give some soldiers a second chance and to give individuals a shot at French citizenship through service and assimilation. The infrastructure is in place for an idea that could be a game changer. In the future as France becomes one of the greatest countries to live in it may be more appealing for a soldier to choose service in France instead of their own home country. France could easily expand the FFL letting new soldiers of their choice enter the ranks of an already impressive military.


6) Turkey

Turkey has a very uncertain future in terms of power, but the potential is there. They arguably have the strongest military in the Middle East and this may be a huge element as the thirst for oil dries up. Strong secure leaders will discovered to guide the Middle East. Turkey is one of the rare countries that has one foot in Europe and one foot in the Middle East allowing it to influence both realms. It has the world's 9th largest navy and is located in one of the most strategic locations on the globe. Turkey also has one of the fastest growing economies.

Recently Turkey was in involved in a minor conflict with the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet. As many countries would fear a conflict with Russia, Turkey stood its ground and stated that they would defend their air space. With the conflict in Syria and Turkey taking on a more active influential role it is not impossible to see how Turkey could rise to be an influential super power as it once was.


5) Australia

Second on the Human Development Index is Australia. They have a large massive continent all to themselves surrounded by protective barriers of water. Near them are allies and friends where they are generally left unprovoked. They rank 12th on military expenditures by the International Institute for Strategic Studies and they are the leading exporter of several minerals. They have a high standard of living and room to grow. Although much of Australia isn't what some would call “ideal land”, they have plenty of room for potential future population growth.

One of the greatest hidden aspects of Australia is its energy production vs. its needs. Australia produces 2 times the amount of energy they need being fully energy independent. There are very few countries that can state they are energy independent and none that are the size of Australia. This allows Australia to remain flexible and be less impacted by global trends in energy unlike many countries in Europe or Russia.


4) Nigeria

Nigeria probably has the most uncertain future of the countries listed, but like Turkey, Nigeria is a regional power already. Nigeria's economy is growing rapidly and has little competition with its neighbors. While Africa struggles to become more developed, Nigeria shows the path which makes them one of the most important leaders in the region. They have the 7th largest population and should move into the 4th largest by 2050. As the world shifts its focus from oil to other resources, Africa as a whole, will become more valuable and a strong competitor for global power. In the next 30 years Nigeria could be the voice that represents Africa if they play their cards right.


3) Norway

Norway has set the standard in so many ways. They are number 1 on the Human Development Index, and they are the 6th richest country in the world per capita. Most of the 5 countries before them have less population and rely on oil exports extensively. As alternative energies are used in the future Norway could lead in wealth per capita. They are fully energy independent and create 7 times the amount of energy they need.

Although their military is not large or experienced Norway is something similar to New Zealand in the fact that they could be one of the largest consumers of private armies if need be. As the world changes and becomes smaller in scope more people and businesses will look to Norway to be a safe haven where they can live a good life that is better than the one their host country has offered. Norway, like New Zealand, will have the option to choose from the best minds in the world.


2) Brazil

Brazil is already a regional super power and growing. South America, like Africa, has much untapped potential. Brazil has the world's 5th largest population and is 11th in military expenditures. They have the 8th largest economy in the world and good infrastructure. Brazil is rich in natural resources without the fear of natural disasters. The divide between poor and rich is shrinking allowing Brazil to have more purchasing power.

Brazil is a leader in ethanol production and consumption. They are pushing the technological window on ethanol and developing new more efficient ways to harvest and consume it. Brazil has been creative in its energy consumption and moving towards energy independence. The rest of the world can use Brazil as a model on how to work with what resources a country has instead of the resources a country thinks it needs.


1) Unified Korea

South and North Korea are vastly different in terms of society, geography, politics and much more. The explored possibility of the reunification of the North and South may seem far fetched but in not so distant 30 to 40 years it is certainly not impossible.

South Korea ranks 17 on the Human Development Index. North Korea has the 4th largest army in the world while South Korea has the 7th. Combining the armies makes them have the 2nd largest army in the world. South Korea has the 4th largest navy while North Korea has the 10th largest. South Korea is 10th in military expenditures and North Korea has nuclear weapons.

The beauty of the unification of the Koreas is the contrast itself. The mineral rich North Korea and the sky rises in the South. Mining is cut short due to lack of electricity in the North, however, North Korea has access to many rich deposits of minerals. South Korea is advanced in technology. Both countries could produce some of the most skilled cyber warriors. It is estimated that North Korea could have up to 30,000 cyber warriors currently which may be some of the most valuable forces in existence in 35 years as the world becomes more wired in. The unification hopefully would remove all sanctions against the new Unified Korea opening new avenues for trade and growth.

Who Was Left Out?

Of course the U.S.A, Russia, China, India, United Kingdom, Japan and others could make great candidates as well, but with greater power comes greater responsibility. It is not so hard to imagine one or more of those nations collapsing behind the times and losing their status as a global super power or falling short of achieving it. The above list contains some of the underdogs who have the possibility to someday be the most powerful nation on the planet.

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      Oliver Rifkind 19 months ago from Always Moving

      Great reply, and what you are describing is something that will indeed most likely happen. I could see someone like Nigeria stepping up and uniting parts of Africa or Brazil uniting parts of South America. Thank you for you comment!

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      Irina 19 months ago

      Thank you for very interesting article. But I think the proces of world development will go to unit the countries, as for example

      European Union. Because all people of oure earth very close to an understanding that all we are one small part of this world and we are all connected souls , which is parts of the Overmind ( God ) . As described in the film AVATAR. I think countries will be combined on different grounds: economic , georgraficheskim , religious.This process is going to be up to that time as long as people understand that they are a single entity.