Mapping the World’s Shifting Economic Center of Gravity Toward Asia

The new McKinsey Global Institute report Urban World: Cities and the rise of the consuming class argues “it is not hyperbole to say that we are observing the most significant economic transformation the world has seen. China is urbanizing on 100 times the scale of Britain in the 18th century and at more than ten times the speed.”

The report includes a map of the world’s shifting economic “center of gravity” to communicate graphically the historical trends in global economic power over the last 2000 years.

The Economist, The Atlantic, and The Huffington Post, among others, have featured in their reporting this graphic representation of the historic shift in economic power.

Here is the map: NIC Blog – MGI – Shifting economic center of gravity

This map shows that for roughly from 1 AD to 1820 AD, the world’s economic center of gravity remained relatively unchanged and balanced between East and West, then shifted dramatically toward Europe and the North America during the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, and later began to shift back toward Asia in the second half of the 20th century.  Significantly, “it has been in the most recent decade of 2000 to 2010 that we have observed the fastest rate of change in global economic balance in history.”  As the map highlights, the shift in economic “center of gravity” from 2000 to 2025 toward Asia, driven by in large part by urbanization, will be almost as significant as the “center of gravity’s” movement toward Europe between 1820 and 1913. 

This time it is different!

5 comments on “Mapping the World’s Shifting Economic Center of Gravity Toward Asia

  1. Pingback: “Global Trends”- CIA: Asia will as before be the center of economich development – Europa and US will losse their postions. Middleclass will be soon most important globally, but consume more and more, which will be a big problem for envi

  2. Pingback: “Global Trends”-Prognose der US-Geheimdienste: Asien überflügelt USA und Europa. Zum ersten Mal überhaupt wird eine Mehrheit der Erdenbewohner 2030 nicht mehr in Armut leben, “erstmals wird die Mittelschicht in den meisten Ländern da

  3. RE: You are ignoring the fact that American bisnuess only needs to fund emerging market activity to make profits. They don’t have to have United States consumers to have profits. Profits drive Wall Street. Production is just something corporations do to funnel the money. It’s just like, or exactly like, money laundering. Financing is the end result. A little debt here, some interest income over there, multiple that by a few billion, and you have a securities market that can be bought sold, or traded for additional profits. The government needs to step in and spend our tax dollars on providing for the public welfare. We need protection from our own bisnuesses. We need protection from the insurance, and banking sectors who are completely out of control. Who do we give more money to anyway? The government, the insurance companies or banking finance? I get confused, but know for a fact that my government needs to provide for th public welfare. I don’t see that in my credit card applications. Rate this comment: 0 0

  4. Pingback: Urbanization and the World in 2030: Concluding Reflections on the NIC Blog for the Week of July 15-21 | Global Trends 2030

  5. Pingback: Lo spostamento verso l’Asia del centro di gravità economico – sesto input | Silendo

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