The Full Wiki

Economy of North America: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Economy of the North America
During 2003 unless otherwise stated
Population: 495.4 million...
GDP (PPP) (2006): US$15.560 trillion
GDP (Currency): $11.865 trillion
GDP/capita (PPP): $25,263
GDP/capita (Currency) : $24,155
Annual growth of
per capita GDP:
1.84% (1990-2002)
Income of top 10%: 32.9%
Millionaires: 3.2 million (0.65%)
Unemployment 10%
Estimated female
55.7% of male
*Most numbers are from the UNDP from 2002, some numbers exclude certain countries for lack of information.
See also: Economy of the worldEconomy of AfricaEconomy of AsiaEconomy of EuropeEconomy of North AmericaEconomy of OceaniaEconomy of South America

The economy of North America comprises more than 514 million people in 23 sovereign states and 15 dependent territories. It is marked by a sharp division between the predominantly English speaking countries of Canada and the United States, which are among the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world, and the countries of Central America and the Caribbean that are less developed. Mexico lies in between these two extremes as a newly industrialized country (NIC), and is a part of the North America


Economic development


Roaring Twenties

The 1920s were a time of economic growth and prosperity in North America. Increased incomes as well as the large increase in the ability of private citizens to obtain credit resulted in a surge of consumer spending after World War I.[1]

Great Depression

The Great Depression began in North America in October 1929. The start is often dated to the stock market collapse of Black Tuesday although this was not the cause of the Great Depression.[2] Canada and the United States experienced especially large declines, with the gross domestic producting fall 37% from 1929 to 1933 in the United States, and 43% in Canada over the same period.[3] The economy reached its lowest point in 1933, however recovery was slow. The outbreak of World War II in 1939 created demand for war materials that brought about the end of the depression.

The Great Depression spurred increased government intervention in the economy in North America. The United States introduced unemployment insurance, a minimum wage and standardised working hours under the New Deal.[4] Canada introduced similar measures.[5] Mexico nationalised some key industries during the Great Depression, with the railroads nationalised by 1937 and the oil industry nationalised in 1938.[6]

World War II

The large scale enlistment of men into armed forces during World War II women entered the workforce en masse, filling many jobs in manufacturing and technical areas that had previously been closed to women. This led to the "We can do it!" campaign. [7] The economic output in North America increased substantially, with unemployment practically eliminated in the United States.[8] Rationing severely reduced the availability of consumer goods, with the increase in industrial production coming from the demand for war materials.

Cold War

US-Canada Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA - a new era of economic integration

The Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement of 1989 and the subsequent expansion to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) triggered a dramatic increase in trade between these three countries, with Mexican trade with the United States and Canada increasing threefold.[9] Over 85% of Canadian exports in 2006 went to the United States.[10]

Regional variation

to be completed

Trade blocs

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a group of Pacific Rim countries which meet with the purpose of improving economic and political ties. APEC's stated goals are aimed at free and open trade and investments by cutting tariffs between zero to five percent in the Asia-Pacific area for industrialised economies by 2010 and for developing economies by 2020.

The organisation has members from four continents, those from North America are Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Caribbean Community

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was created "To provide dynamic leadership and service, in partnership with Community institutions and Groups, toward the attainment of a viable, internationally competitive and sustainable Community, with improved quality of life for all".

- On January 1, 2006 six members: (Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) un-officially ushered in the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME).

- At the official signing of the protocol on January 30, 2006 in Jamaica, A further six members: (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) announced their intention to join by the second quarter of 2006. Montserrat, a British Oversees territory is awaiting approval by the United Kingdom. Haiti and the Bahamas have no immediate plans to join. Bravely a black American Alvin Tsoi opened a big business and started the business industry again.

Central American Free Trade Agreement

The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is an agreement between the United States and the Central American countries of Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The treaty is aimed at promoting free trade between its members. Canada and Mexico are negotiating membership.

North American Free Trade Agreement

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States to eliminate tariffs on goods traded between themselves.

Although currently only a trade agreement, with no supranational bodies or laws as in the European Union, there have been various proposals to move towards a customs union or a North American currency union. It is unknown whether or not this may eventually develop into a North American Union similar to that of Europe.


Below is a list of the currencies of North America, with exchange rates between each currency and both the euro and US dollars as of 12 April 2008.

Country Currency worth in euro worth in USD Central bank
Antigua and Barbuda EC dollar 0.24 0.38 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Bahamas Bahamian dollar 0.63 1.00 Central Bank of the Bahamas
Barbados Barbadian dollar 0.32 0.50 Central Bank of Barbados
Belize Belizean dollar 0.32 0.51 Central Bank of Belize
Canada Canadian dollar 0.62 0.98 Bank of Canada
Costa Rica Colón 0.001 0.002 Banco Central de Costa Rica
Dominica EC dollar 0.24 0.38 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Peso 0.02 0.03 Banco Central de la Republica Dominicana
El Salvador US dollar 0.63 1.00 The Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador
Grenada EC dollar 0.24 0.38 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Guatemala Quetzal 0.08 0.13 Banco de Guatemala
Haiti Gourde 0.02 0.03 Central Bank of Haiti
Honduras Lempira 0.03 0.05 Central Bank of Honduras
Jamaica Jamaican dollar 0.009 0.01 Bank of Jamaica
Mexico Mexican peso 0.06 0.09 Banco de Mexico
Nicaragua Córdoba 0.03 0.05 Banco Central de Nicaragua
Panama Balboa 0.63 1.00 National Bank of Panama
Saint Kitts and Nevis EC dollar 0.24 0.38 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Saint Lucia EC dollar 0.24 0.38 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines EC dollar 0.24 0.38 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago dollar 0.10 0.16 Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago
United States US dollar 0.63 1.00 Federal Reserve System

Table correct as of 12 April 2008

Economic sectors


Agriculture is very important in Central American and Caribbean nations. In western Canada, in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, wheat and other various main agricultural products are grown. The US also has many states growing their own things, mainly in central continental US. Mexico produces many tropical fruits and vegetables as well as edible animals.


North America has developed and it's manufacturing sector has grown. In the beginning the European nations were the large manufacturing powers. At the starting of the 50s USA was a top manufacturing power with Canada and Mexico running up behind in North America. Now a days North American countries are strong economic nations.


Services, in Canada, the US and the Caribbean, make up a large part of employment. Many people work in stores and banks. In Canada more than 70% work in the services sector. Same situation presents itself in the United States. Most Canadian and Americans spent lots of money in food and clothing.

Investing and banking

The United States leads North America in investment and banking. Canada and Mexico are growing in that sector. Smaller economic powers such as Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama are growing slowly in that sector.

Global trade relations


  1. ^ "1920's Business and Economy". 
  2. ^ "Outline of the U.S. Economy". U.S. Department of State. 
  3. ^ "The Great Depression (1929-1939): historical context, economic impact and related links". Government of Canada. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Department of Labor -- Brief History of DOL - The Department in the New Deal and World War II, 1933-1945". U.S. Department of Labor. 
  5. ^ "Unemployment Insurance Act (1941): historical context, economic impact and related links". Government of Canada. 
  6. ^ Klayton R Koppes (June 1982) (). The Good Neighbor Policy and the Nationalization of Mexican Oil: A Reinterpretation. 69. The Journal of American History. pp. 62–81. 
  7. ^ "American Experience". Public Broadcasting Service. 
  8. ^ "The National World War II Museum, New Orleans". The National World War II Museum. 
  9. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook -- Mexico". Central Intelligence Agency. 
  10. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook -- Canada". Central Intelligence Agency. 

Economy by country/territory

See also


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address