Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



News Promo
INFOGRAPHIC: 2000 Years Of Following The Money In One Graph
June 19, 2012
submit to reddit

This is a big job for a little graph, but yes: according to Michael Cembalest, an analyst at JP Morgan, that image below maps the economic history of the world's major powers all the way back to the year one A.D. The graph shows the share of worldwide Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for each country throughout the last two millennia - basically, how much of the world's wealth each country laid claim to.

It features some surprises, like the fact that as of year one, India had the biggest economy in the world. As The Atlantic's Derek Thompson explains, that's because prior to the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, GDP was mainly determined by population size.

Things are different today: the United States now accounts for five percent of the world population, but 21 percent of its GDP, while Asia (minus Japan) accounts for 60 percent of the world population but only 30 percent of its GDP. As Thompson puts it, "everything to the left of 1800 is an approximation of population distribution around the world and everything to the right of 1800 is a demonstration of productivity divergences around the world". Check it out below:


Related stories on

Economics 101 With Arlene Dickinson


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.