The United States of America (U.S.A.) is the third most populous country in the world with at least 313,081,394 people living within its borders and territories accounting for 4.4 percent of the world’s population of an estimated 6,996,724,147 people. In comparison, the top two most populous countries worldwide are China, with 1,336,718,015 or 19 percent of the world population, and India, with 1,189,172,906 or almost 17 percent of the world population (Internet World Stats 2011). Yet, the U.S.A. remains on top of world economies with a GDP of 14,600 billion U.S. dollars per year, while China follows at number two with a GDP of 10,090 billion U.S. dollars per year and India at number four with 4,060 billion U.S. dollars per year (Index Mundi 2011).
The U.S.A. has a significant record of achievement in science and other innovations, ranking number one in The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s (ITIF) 2000 survey (Atkinson and Andes 2011). However, the ITIF found that the U.S.A. has made little progress in areas such as “scientists and engineers, corporate and government R&D, venture capital, productivity and trade performance” since 1999, and as of 2011 has fallen to fourth place (Atkinson and Andes 2011). The two main culprits causing this decline in achievement are a lack of a stance against “innovation mercantilism” as well as a need to develop “domestic policies [that] do a much better job of supporting innovation, productivity and competitiveness, through both increased government investment in innovation and lower taxes on corporate investment in innovation” (Atkinson and Andes 2011).
AIDS and HIV are still of great concern for the U.S.A. with 1.2 million people living with HIV and one in five of these unaware of their infection (CDC 2012). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “despite increases in the total number of people in the US living with HIV infection in recent years, the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable” (CDC 2012). The most at-risk group in the U.S.A. continues to be men who have sex with men (MSM).
A number of moral issues face the U.S.A. and are often at the forefront of the news because it is a Presidential election year. Health care reform is always a top issue dividing the nation. Some feel that “health is an individual responsibility do not want a system that requires them to contribute tax dollars to support fellow citizens who do not act responsibly in protecting . . . their own health” (Admin 2011). Others believe that in a nation as wealthy as the U.S.A., every citizen should have an opportunity to receive quality health care. Other moral issues facing the U.S.A. include immigration and border control, abortion, and doctor-assisted suicide (Jefferson 2011).
The nature of the U.S.A. with its vast variety of cultures and issues is both an advantage for the nation with its potential for diversity and innovation, but also a challenge because of clashing ideas and consequential stagnancy. It will be interesting to see how the U.S.A. faces its economic, health, scientific, and other challenges in the next decade and whether upcoming generations will be able to maintain the country’s top status into the next century.
Admin. Universal Health Care – Ethical Issues in Health Care Reform. Health Care Information, 25 June 2011. Web.
Atkinson, Robert D. and Andes, Scott M.. The Atlantic Century II: Benchmarking EU & U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 19 July 2011. Web.
“Current Population.” Census.gov. United States Census Bureau, 25 Feb. 2012. Web.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (26 Jan. 2012). HIV in the United States. Department of Health and Human Services, 25 Feb 2012. Web.
Jefferson, Cord. Can You Guess the Moral Issue That Most Divides Americans? Good Culture, 2 June 2011. Web. http://www.good.is/post/can-you-guess-the-moral-issue-that-most-divides-americans/
“The World Population and the Top Ten Countries With the Highest Population.” InternetWorldStats.com. Internet World Stats, 31 Dec. 2011. Web.
“Country Comparison: GDP Top 100.” IndexMundi.com. Index Mundi, 1 Jan. 2011. Web.