- Mar 2011
- The Celestial Plain
The UK's growth rate between the 1820s and the 1860s was only two percent a year, 1.2 percent per capita, according to Angus Maddison. That may seem shockingly low since this was the industrial revolution, but compared to the growth rates in previous centuries (basically a few tenths of a percentage per year), two percent was a revolutionary growth rate.Looking back at the data I admit you are correct about the UK's debt/GDP ratio in the 19th century. However, what is blatant is the fact that this debt was accumulated during the Napoleonic wars. In other words it was a short term accumulation of debt for a specific goal. After the Napoleonic wars the ratio fell rather quickly. Our economy was also growing at a far greater rate back then. We could just about afford to pay if off. Let's see how well we pay this debt off with an aging population, a bloated welfare state and a growth rate of a measly 2% or so.