Super Cities №250—The Two-Horse Economic Race

Brendan Hart

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a common way of measuring a country's economy. In 2018, US GDP was roughly $20 trillion. China's was $13 trillion. Japan was next at around $5 trillion.

But GDP fluctuates, and the countries with the largest GDP has changed significantly over time. The video below helps visualize those changes. A few points to note:

  • In the early 1960s, except for the United States, the countries with the largest economies were still recovering from World War II. When your country was destroyed by non-stop aerial bombardment, it wreaks long-term havoc on your ability to produce at-scale economically. So do massive wartime debts that must be repaid through austerity.
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, Japan's economy was booming. It ended up being close to three-fifths the size of the US.
  • China entered the WTO in 2001 and, since the mid-200s, it has expanded rapidly. In total volume, although not in per-capita terms, it is fast approaching the US.
  • We are now in a two-horse race: the red horse and the red-white-and-blue horse.

Share
You've successfully subscribed to Super Cities
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Great! You've successfully signed up.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.