We’re Number Two: Americans Believe China Is Taking Over

Nearly one-third think China has already unseated the U.S. as the world's economic power

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Lucas Jackson / Reuters

The flags of the United States and China hang outside of the New York Stock Exchange March 30, 2011.

The U.S. has been the world’s biggest national economy since 1871, but more than half of Americans have slapped an expiration date on its global reign according to a poll reported on in the Wall Street Journal.

The poll, conducted by financial website The Street, found that only 43% of Americans believed the U.S. would be the world’s “dominant economic power” five to seven years out and nearly a third have already ceded the title to China.

Their opinions may fly in the face of economic reality — the U.S. has nearly twice the GDP of China — but the poll does show how years of sluggish economic growth can alter perceptions.