History of the World

06.29.12

Economic Growth is Moving East

The Economist today has a map showing how the world's economic center of gravity spent 1,950 years shifting westward, but in the last 50 years has moved almost completely back to where it was 2,000 years ago:

IT IS not exactly news that the world's economic centre of gravity is shifting east. But it is striking how fast this seems to be happening. In a new study on the economic impact of urbanisation the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the eponymous consultancy, has attempted to calculate how this centre of gravity has moved since AD 1 and how it is likely to move until 2025...the calculations show that the centre is rapidly shifting east—at a speed of 140 kilometres a year and thus faster than ever before in human history, according to Richard Dobbs, one of the authors of the study.