SWOT analysis of the USA (U.S. SWOT analysis)
This detailed SWOT analysis of the USA explores some of the key strengths and the weaknesses of the USA. It also examines the opportunities the country should explore and the threats it should keep an eye on. The United States of America (USA) is the most powerful country and a founding member of some of the greatest institutions in the world. The American society is often characterised by a strong work ethic, high social mobility, competitiveness, and individualism.
Strengths of the USA
The USA is a superpower and a permanent member of the United Nations. It can exert influence virtually in any part of the world with an unmatched global reach. It can usually make allies easily because of its power, fame, and engagement in global affairs.
The largest economy in the world. The U.S. GDP in 2019 was $21.42 trillion (World Bank, 2020). Many analysts consider the country a free market economy, while many others see it as a mixed economy that combines elements of a free market economy with governmental interventions.
One of the largest countries in the world by area. The U.S. is also the 3rd largest country by population. Its total population is approximately 331 million that makes it a massive domestic market (Worldometer, 2020).
Some of the greatest and largest companies in the world are from the USA. Facebook, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Walmart, Boeing, Wells Fargo, PepsiCo, Comcast, Cisco Systems, Chevron, Adobe, Pfizer, Merck & Co., Verizon, Coca-Cola Company, Disney, Home Depot, ExxonMobil, UnitedHealth Group, AT&T, Intel, Bank of America, Procter & Gamble, Mastercard, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, and Visa to name but a few!
Strong purchasing power of people. Americans are very good about their finances. Unlike consumers in many other countries who worry about becoming unemployed, American consumers are comparatively less concerned about their household’s financial circumstances.
One of the most advanced nations with highly advanced infrastructures. Very difficult for any other country to beat the USA in IT, aerospace, medical science, and many other fields.
Global leadership in entertainment. Hollywood films, dramas, comedies, soaps, animations, music videos, jazz, blues, rock and rap music have a global audience and often shape popular culture (BBC, 2019)
Weaknesses of the USA
The purchasing power of the U.S. citizens has always been strong; however, that may change in the future. Current economic circumstances are signalling tough challenges ahead.
The USA is one of the most expensive places in the world to manufacture products. If the costs were low, it could have kept many of its manufacturing operations within the country instead of outsourcing them abroad.
Though the U.S. is the largest economy in the world, approximately 38.1 people lived in poverty in 2018. One in every six children lives in poverty and approximately 2.5 million of them experience homelessness in a year (PovertyUSA, 2020). This demonstrates problems in wealth distribution in the country.
Expensive health care system. The government does not provide health benefits to its citizens or visitors (MIT Medical, 2020). If an individual breaks his/her leg and stays in the hospital for three days, it may cost approximately $30,000.
The U.S. is currently experiencing agonizing challenges in race relations. According to Pew Research Centre (2019), most of the Americans (six-in-ten) view that the race relations in the country is bad and not improving.
The US is geographically a massive country. However, this vastness makes it prone to a variety of different natural disasters on a frequent basis. Hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, hail, and drought cost the country billions of dollars a year.
Opportunities for the USA
The U.S. can increase its exports to many emerging international markets. The current top exports are refined petroleum, planes, helicopters, spacecrafts, cars, crude petroleum, and integrated circuits that mostly go to countries such as Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, and South Korea (OEC, 2020).
Great opportunity to develop new products and services for knowledge and technology intensive industries. The U.S. technology, pharmaceuticals, and financial service industries in particular, have wide room for further development to garner more global market share.
By mediating and resolving disputes among nations, the USA can further its standing in global arena. Dispute resolution should also enhance the moral position of the country as well.
Threats to the USA
There are many competitors that challenge the U.S. in many areas. For instance, Russia is the biggest competitor in global politics, while China is the biggest competitor in trade. Likewise, the U.S. is trailing behind Japan, China, and South Korea and is challenged by Germany, the UK, and Singapore in technological expertise.
More and more consumers are depending on debts. Likewise, millions of people have lost their jobs in the second quarter of 2020. These shocking job losses mark a bleak milestone in the economic crisis that has gripped the country vary badly.
High crime rates in some states. This affects the social fabric of the U.S. Likewise, poor race relations may complicate things further. Foreign interference in American affairs has also been widely discussed in the last few years.
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Last update: 09 July 2020
BBC (2019) United States country profile, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16761057 (accessed 02 July 2020)
Horowitz, J., Brown, A., & Cox, K, (2019) Race in America 2019, available at: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/04/09/race-in-america-2019/ (accessed 07 July 2020)
MIT Medical (2020) Healthcare in the United States: The top five things you need to know, available at: https://medical.mit.edu/my-mit/internationals/healthcare-united-states (accessed 07 July 2020)
OEC (2020) United States, available at: https://oec.world/en/profile/country/usa/ (accessed 02 July 2020)
PovertyUSA (2020) The population of poverty USA, available at: https://www.povertyusa.org/facts (accessed 07 July 2020)
World Bank (2020) GDP (current US$) – United States, available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?locations=US (accessed 05 Julyb2020)
Worldometer (2020) Countries in the world by population (2020), available at: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/ (accessed 01 July 2020)
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Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.