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Both the US and UK are developed countries with advanced economies. According to 2009 estimates, US had a population of 307,212,123 and UK had 61, 113, 205 with population growth rates of 0.977% and 0.279% respectively. This shows the population growth rate for US was almost 4 times that of the US. Also By 2009; Birth rate in US was 13.83 births per 1,000 population compared with that of UK of 10.65 per 1000 population. The death rates during the same year for US and UK stood at of 8.38 and 10.02 deaths per 1,000 populations respectively. Although there are no significant differences in death rates between the two countries, the slightly lower rates in the US can be attributed to better health care systems. Unlike UK , US is rich in natural resources for instance coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber etc also US has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total(Central intelligence agency 2010). This makes the US economy more independent than that of UK. These resources have been the major driving force behind the US economy
The two countries have distinct government systems. In the US, government is constitutional based federal system with a strong democratic tradition that is composed of 50 states with the capital at Washington DC. The government in US is also characterized by vibrant legal systems that consist of federal courts and with each state having its own unique legal system. Economists have always associated effective legal systems with economic advancement. The executive branch of government is headed by the president who is the head of state and government. The legislative branch is bicameral in nature and is composed of the congress and the House of Representatives. The government is decentralized into federal governments with each state operating as an entity. This has made management of the huge US economy (the largest in the world) feasible because the system emphasizes devolution of resources. On the other hand the UK government is a constitutional monarchy and a commonwealth realm with a capital in London. The country has unwritten constitution, partly statues and partly common law and practices. The legal systems are based on common law tradition with early roman and modern continental influences. UK lacks extensive legal system compared to US. In UK the queen is the head of the state and the prime minister the head of government. Just like in the US, the legislative branch consists of a bicameral parliament with House of Lords and House of Commons. The government structure of UK is far less decentralized when compared to that in the US (Watts 2004).
The US has a leading industrial power in the world, highly diversified and technologically advanced than that in UK for instance in the field of petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining. At present the US economy is the largest economy in the world and the most technologically advanced one with per capital GDP of $ 46,400 in 2009 compared to that of UK of $34,800 in the same year (Central intelligence agency 2010). Although both countries are advanced technologically, the US is far ahead and has successful integrated technology into its economy, something that has provided a driving force for its huge economy. Also it is important to note that, the US economy is market oriented with effective market systems put in place something that UK is yet to achieve (Irvin 2009).
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Although in both countries firms have been at the forefront in technological advances especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment, firms in the US have always taken a leading role. In the US, GDP (purchasing power parity) in 2009 decreased from $14.52 in 2008 to 14.14 in 2009 compared to that of UK that stood at 2.128 in 2009 and 2.238 and 2.4 in 2008 and 2007 respectively. Although GDP (purchasing power parity) appears to be following the same trend, that of the US is almost 7 times bigger than that of the UK. GDP (official exchange rate) was 14.26 trillion in 2009 compared to that of UK of 2.184 trillion. This is an indication that the US economy is much active compared to that of the UK. GDP (real growth rate) for the US was 1.9% in 2007, 0% in 2008 and -2.6% in 2009. In UK the GDP (real growth rate) for 2009, 2008 and 2007 was -4.9%, -0.1% and 2.7 respectively. This indicates that economic growth in the two countries is not consistent with UK recording relatively lower rates for the three years. According to 2009 estimates Services industry in the US contributes a great portion of the GDP (76.9 %) followed by industry and agriculture with 21.9 and 1.2 percentage respectively. For the same year, estimates in the UK showed that service industry comprised of 75% of the GDP followed by industry and agriculture with 23.8% and 1.2 % respectively(Central intelligence agency 2010). Therefore in both countries service industry in the major economy driving force with agriculture taking the smallest portion.
The US is equipped with a huge labor force than that of UK. According 2009 estimates it stood at 152.2 million; almost five times bigger than that of UK which stood at 31.37 million. This indicates that the US has a capacity to sustain an economy of high magnitude when compared to UK. Unemployment rate in both countries represent a major challenge that is yet to be overcome .Unemployment rate by 2009 was 9.3 %, an increment from 5.8 % in 2008. Estimates for 2009 in the UK were 7.6%, an increment from 5.6 % in 2009. Also according to these estimates, investment (gross fixed) in the US stood relatively lower at 12.3 % of GDP compared to that of UK that was estimated at 14.9% of the GDP. Both countries are funded by public debt; the 2009 estimates indicated that the public debt of US is more than half of the GDP; that is 52.9 of the GDP. For the same period UK recorded even higher values that at 68.1 % of the GDP. The US is characterized by relatively lower inflation rates when compared with UK. For instance, According to 2009 estimates inflation rate was -0.3 %. For the same period UK recorded an inflation rate of 2.2% (Central intelligence agency 2010).
Although both the US and UK are developed countries, the US has better prospects for future growth because it has better economy driving forces than UK. Some of these forces include advanced technology, effective legal systems, more decentralized government, large labor force, and effective marketing systems. Despite this, the country will still be faced with challenges like lowering unemployment rates and cutting down the public debt.
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