For many people, an important question will be: "Can Scotland afford Independence?" This should apply to myself just as much as to anyone else. With this in mind, I set about establishing the facts as best I could. I thought country wealth as measured by GDP per capita would be a good place to start. I used World Bank data (2011) for the 25 wealthiest countries by GDP and compared them with calculated data for Scottish GDP from the Scottish Government website. What came out of this exercise was extremely interesting.
The UK was the 24th wealthiest country with a GDP per capita of $US 39,038
New Zealand was 25th with a GDP per capita of $US 36,254
Scotland has 3 scenarios in the Scottish Government website data
- Scenario 1: no share of UK extra-regio activity - GDP per capita $US 37,563
- Scenario 2: population share of UK extra-regio activity - GDP per capita $US 38,472
- Scenario 3: geographic share of UK extra-regio activity - GDP per capita $US 45,136
Under International Maritime Law, Scenario 3 would be most likely in which case Scotland would be above Germany, Iceland, France and Brunei Darussalam and just below Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
Interestingly there are 19 countries with smaller populations than the UK in the top 25 wealthiest countries and 10 countries with smaller populations than Scotland (extra-regio excluded) and 8 if a share of extra-regio offshore activity is included.
Taking Scotland, with its share of extra-regio offshore activity and population, out of the UK figures would give the UK a GDP per capita of $US 38, 468 which would keep the UK comfortably above New Zealand..
I am convinced therefore that Scotland like the UK would be in the top 25 countries in terms of wealth as defined by GDP per capita.
My belief that "Small is Beautiful" is confirmed by at least 8 countries that have smaller populations than Scotland but that are wealthier than Scotland. Not many people will be aware that top of the Table in terms of wealth is Luxembourg with a GDP per capita of $US 114,508 and a population of only 517,000 - probably reflecting a high proportion of European Union personnel with exceedingly high salaries and expenses. Second on the list is Norway with a GDP per capita of $US 98,102 and a population of 4.952 m - i.e. Norway has a smaller population than Scotland and is more than twice as wealthy.
I hope this is the sort of positive information that will help people reach a Yes vote in the 2014 Referendum on Independence for Scotland. I will look at other areas where the positive case for Scotland can be made and will post such information as and when I have it.
The detailed data backing up this assessment is here.
Should you wish to support an Independent Country sign the Yes Declaration here..