Based on Internet data, the United States consumed approximately 545,000 metric tons of acrylonitrile in 2009 as a starting chemical from which many products were produced. And, Western Europe in 2010 used approximately 750,000 metric tons. Using these quantities and the approximate populations of these areas, this acrylonitrile consumption converts to approximately 4 pounds of acrylonitrile used per person in both the USA and Western Europe.
Does 4 pounds per person represent a “mature” amount of acrylonitrile to produce in order to have the desired products that well-developed economies want? If yes, then estimating the per person use for the world population shows a gap in acrylonitrile needed to provide on a world-wide basis the types of products for everyone that those of us in well-developed economies desire and use.
The estimated world-wide consumption of acrylonitrile in 2011 was 5.25 million metric tons or approximately 1.7 pounds per person. This suggests a need for a lot more acrylonitrile production as more people become better developed economically and seek to use those acrylonitrile-based products widely used in developed countries such as the United States and Western Europe.
Another conclusion is the importance of increasing demand in lesser-developed countries for certain mature industries in developed countries to grow.