Looking ahead, Americans still expect China to be the leading economic power in 20 years, but by a slightly smaller margin over the United States, 46% to 38%. These opinions, though similar to last year’s, have shifted in the past. In 2000, when the U.S. economy was strong, and in 2009, shortly after Barack Obama took office, more Americans believed the U.S. rather than China would be the top economic power in the future. In 2008, just as the recession was beginning, and in the last two years as the economy has continued to stagnate, a plurality of Americans have thought China would be the top power in the future.