It’s no secret that the world’s economic center of gravity has been shifting east ever since the 1950s.
And one interesting way to see this trend is by looking at the shares of global GDP moving between countries over the last 1,000 years. Credit Suisse illustrated this using data from economist Angus Maddison.
Around 1000 A.D., China and India’s GDPs made up the bulk of global GDP. Those shares decreased moving into the 1900’s, but once again started increasing around 1960 — and have continued to increase since then.
Japan’s share of the global GDP remained pretty steady until the 1960’s — after which it increased significantly.
Meanwhile, the UK’s, France’s and Germany’s shares of the global GDP were the largest in the late 1800’s, but all have decreased since.
As for the US, its share of the global GDP increased dramatically from the 1850’s to the 1950’s — but has stayed more or less the same since then.
It’s worth reiterating that this is the share of the global GDP — not the actual GDP for a given country. In other words, although Spain’s GDP might have increased since 1,000 A.D., Spain’s GDP as a percentage of global GDP might have remained constant.