How America Compares offers data and analysis on an encyclopedic range of social indicators, comparing the United States with 17 other politically stable, economically affluent democracies. Occasionally, there are more global perspectives, but most of the book examines commonalities and contrasts among these advanced democracies. These 18 countries have long been among the world’s richest. The chapter examines both long term and more recent economic growth rates, as well as trends in inflation, interest rates, currency movements, and productivity. It looks at the changing structure of these economies, particularly the growing relative importance of the service sector, and trends in globalization and economic trade.