written by Jackie Lorch
McKinsey has published some interesting interactive maps to illustrate global economic change. One of them tracks the world’s center of economic gravity from 1 CE until today, with projections to 2025. It shows a hairpin-shaped route across the globe, starting in Northern Pakistan, moving northeast through Kazakhstan by the 19th Century, then continuing through Scandinavia. The line then moves west towards the US, hitting its most western point near Iceland in 1950, before making the hairpin turn by moving back east and then sharply southeast after 2000 through Russia towards China.
What’s striking when you look at the map, is to see that the world’s economic center of gravity moved almost twice as far between 2000 and 2010 as it did in the almost-two-thousand-years from 1 CE to 1820.
McKinsey predicts a continued rapid move further south and east between now and 2025. The map is a dramatic illustration of the exponential pace of global economic and demographic change in our era.