Markets Spotlight on the United States of America and Canada

Author / Editor: Dr. Wolfgang Boos, Michael Salmen M.Sc., Thomas Kuhlmann M.Sc., M.Sc., Dipl.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.Ing. Max Schippers, Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Maximilian Stark / Barbara Schulz

USA/ Canada – Large investments in the manufacturing industry have been driving the US tool and die making industry's growth in recent years. The Canadian tool and die industry is closely linked to the production in the US. However, most of the North American investments in the automotive sector are currently made in Mexico.

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In terms of the gross domestic product (GDP) the United States had the largest economy of the world in 2015 followed by China. Canada ranks 11th.
In terms of the gross domestic product (GDP) the United States had the largest economy of the world in 2015 followed by China. Canada ranks 11th.
(Source: © D.R. - Fotolia)

The United States of America and Canada are the two largest countries in North America. The United States of America is considered to be the land of infinite opportunities and freedom. Canada is more known for its nature. It is the country of lakes, forests and glaciers. Their pleasant living conditions attract many people in search of a new start. As a result, the US is the most popular country of immigration in the world. Canada, being also an attractive country of immigration, uses a scoring system to issue working visas only to highly qualified immigrants with good language skills. The United States of America (US) has approximately 320 million citizens and is the third most populated country in the world.


Canada is located to the north of the United States of America and shares its single border with its southern neighbour. Canada has 35 million citizens, mostly distributed in the urban centres in the south, along the border. Vast parts of the country are covered with dense forests and lakes, which are highly inaccessible during winter. Estimations of the UN assume that the population of the US will increase to 403 million citizens, while the Canadian population is estimated to reach 44 million by 2050 - both mark noticeable increases for developed countries. In most relevant statistics, the countries rank among the highly developed countries of the world regarding income, life expectancy and level of education. 89% of all adults in the US and Canada have a higher-education degree.

However, the quality of the American school system, according to the international PISA Study, is slightly below average. Canadian students fare better and the difference in the results of children of high and low social-economic background is low. The US features one of the lowest personal tax rates in the world (average 31.3%), Germany’s tax rate in comparison goes up to 45%. The tax system is one reason why the US still is home to the largest number of millionaires and billionaires in the world, with China following closely.

The US economy and the industry

In terms of the gross domestic product (GDP), the United States represented the largest economy of the world in 2015, followed by China. The economy has grown steadily in recent years by about 2.1% per year and the outlook for 2016 and 2017 is positive. The US is currently the world’s second largest exporter and the world’s largest importer of goods. In 2014, the country exported goods worth €1.37bn. The three main export goods were automobiles, petroleum products and aircraft. The service sector is the dominant sector of the economy with 77% of GDP. The country possesses large deposits of raw materials, particularly petroleum and natural gas. In 2013, the average wage was €46,950 and thus significantly higher than the average of roughly €28,000 for industrialised nations.

A high inequality in the distribution of wealth and income is represented by the top 20% of the population earning about eight times as much as the lowest 20%. After the economic crisis following the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, unemployment has declined to a level of 5.5%. On average, employees work 1,785 hours per year, only marginally more than the average of industrialised nations.