The World in 2016

The world is ever changing. This year, we live on a planet of 7.4 billion people who contribute products and services worth approximately US$80 trillion in nominal terms. However, population and wealth as measured in GDP activity are not distributed equally across the world which remains one of the challenges of our time. The following two cartograms illustrate this by highlighting where people are and where in contrast GDP wealth is made – the unequal distributions in our world today are quite obvious:

Cartogram of World Population and Global GDP
(click for larger version)

To balance out these disparities, developing and emerging economies would need to catch up at a much faster rate than the industrialised nations, which China for example has done in the past two decades at an incredible pace (at times peaking at more than 15% annual growth, and in recent years still carrying on at levels of above 5%). Other less wealthy countries, in contrast, are growing much slower, and sometimes do not even keep pace with the wealthy parts of the world. The following cartogram shows this more clearly by resizing the countries of the world according to the increase in GDP in the past 15 years. Despite being hit quite strongly by the global recession, Western Europe and the United States are still by far the strongest economies when it comes to absolute increase in GDP wealth since the beginning of the new century, while the population growth takes parts in those parts that are smallest on this map:

Cartogram of the increase in GDP by country between 2000 and 2015
(click for larger version)

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin Hennig using data by IMF, WorldBank and UNDP (2016). Please contact me for further details on the terms of use.

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  1. Pingback: Map of the day: Comparing populations to GDP | eats shoots 'n leaves