Slicing and Dicing
The graph below shows the story of balance and unbalance in the world economy from year 1 until 2008.
Over the last two centuries the share of the world’s GDP shifted to the west but with the rise of China this is changing again. As the graph shows, in the 19th century China and India declined while the West rose. The most obvious answer for this was imperialism as well as technological innovation. Before the first Opium war in 1842, China had its greatest share of world wealth at around 32% but within a century it had shrunk to just under 5% of the world’s GDP .
Prosperity -v- Growth?
Economic prosperity is measured as via growth domestic product (GDP) per capita, the value of all goods and services produced by a country in one year divided by the country’s population. Economic growth is the measure of the change of GDP from one year to the next.
Further information: https://www.b2binternational.com/publications/growth-china-india-research/
Sources: Max Roser (2015) – ‘GDP Growth over the Very Long Run’. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: http://ourworldindata.org/data/growth-and-distribution-of-prosperity/gdp-growth-over-the-very-long-run/
Infograph source: British Economist, Angus Maddison, University of Groningen, Netherlands.