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Possessing general knowledge is indispensable especially for market sizing cases

In a case interview, you must be familiar with basic data about geographies, population, life expectancy, and economies especially for the country you are interviewing for and popular countries such as the US where most big consulting firms are based. Having this knowledge demonstrates that you are well-read and have the potential to be business savvy. Thus, besides being able to solve highly complicated algebraic problems, you should know basic information such as the population of your home country and some key countries of the world. Obviously, it would be embarrassing to not know the population of the country you live in especially if your client notices this!

Most importantly, you will likely need this information for most market sizing cases and backing assumptions with known facts such as population data makes the entire exercise of estimation much more plausible and reliable. Knowing such figures can also be beneficial for sanity checks at the end.

Here are some basic facts we pulled together for you (ideally you should memorize these or at least have an idea of the "order" if not exact numbers):

Population
World total 7,8 b
China 1,4 b
India 1,3 b
Europe 750m
USA 330m
Indonesia 270m
Brasil 211m
Russia 145m
Japan 130m
Germany 84m
UK 68m

Last updated: 10/18/19

Time

Days/year 365 d
Days / 3 years 1000 d
Weeks/year 50 w
Hours/week 168 h
Seconds/hour 3600 s

Country/Region GDP (in trillion $US)
World 85,804,391
1 United States 21.43
2 China 14.34
3 Japan 5.082
4 Germany 3.861
5 France 2.716
6 United Kingdom 2.829
7 India 2.869
8 Italy 2.004
9 Brazil 1.84
10 Canada 1.736

(Source: World Bank, last updated: 03/11/21)

Fractions Percent Decimal
1/5 20% 0,200
1/6 17% 0,167
1/7 14% 0,143
1/8 13% 0,125
1/9 11% 0,111
1/10 10% 0,100
1/11 9% 0,091
1/12 8% 0,083
1/13 8% 0,077
1/14 7% 0,071
1/15 7% 0,067
1/16 6% 0,063
1/17 6% 0,059
1/18 6% 0,056
1/19 5% 0,053
1/20 5% 0,050

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Questions on This Article

Question on BootCamp article Important Facts

Article dates

gave the best answer on Oct 18, 2019
PrepLounge Community & Marketing Manager
Hi Radu, Thank you for your feedback and for helping us improve our practice material! We updated the data right away. If you have any more feedback or questions , feel free to contact us. Best, ... (read entire answer)
Question on BootCamp article Important Facts

# Wks per YEar

gave the best answer on Apr 25, 2021
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.500+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching
Hi there, Yes, in a year there are 52 weeks. However, you can usually ask the interviewer if you can simplify things and use 50, in particular if you are doing market sizing/estimation. It seems Pre ... (read entire answer)
Question on BootCamp article Important Facts

EU has population of about 450m, how did count Europe with 750m?

gave the best answer on Jun 18, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
Hi Nina, It's absolutely critical that you improve your knowledge of the world (geography, world events, etc.). The EU is not Europe. The EU is a group of European countries (27 to be exact). Europe ... (read entire answer)

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