A stunning chart that shows the entire economic history of the world’s most powerful countries over the past 2,000 years has been released by investment bank JP Morgan.
Viewed as a whole, the graph shows the creeping restoration of Asian economic supremacy as the rest-of-the-world catches up to the West and surpasses its levels of industrialisation.
Charting the globe’s 10 major powers since the time of Jesus, the graph can be broken down by simply applying a cut off point at around the 1800 AD mark.
The graph was created from a research letter by JP Morgan Chairman of Market and Investment Strategy Michael Cembalest and shows GDP growth since 1 AD
That was the birth of the Industrial Revolution in the UK and when taken into account, everything to the left of that mark can bee seen as economic power through sheer size of population and to the right is the effect of mass production on a country’s economic output.
One feature of the simple graph is to show that up until around 1500 AD India and China accounted for between 50 and 60 percent of the world’s economy until the late 18th century when the Industrial Revolution rendered countries with large populations, just countries with the largest populations.
In 1 AD, China had a population of almost 60 million people, while the area that would become United States had a population of 680,000.
It took North America 1800 years to overtake China’s economic output. The graph can be expanded into a simple line chart which shows the stupendous growth of the United States, Western Europe and Japan since 1800
The graph can be expanded into a simple line chart which shows the stupendous growth of the United States, Western Europe and Japan since 1800
But by 1950, even though the U.S. had a population three times less than China, its economic output was three times as great.
Additionally, in 1913, China had a population of 437 million and the UK had a population of 45 million, but their economic output was almost identical.
Indeed, when the graph is broken down into its constituent parts, the analysis of what happened in Europe and later the United States shows that the Western lead was taken even before 1800.
For the majority of human history the most important factor in economic growth was the relationship between births and deaths.
If there were too many births then there was not enough food to go around and without mass production techniques people went without until there was starvation or disease.