2,000 Year Global GDP Chart

Check out this remarkable chart at The Atlantic of the relative share of world GDP over the last 2,000 years.  As you can see, the big story of the last five  centuries is the rise of the share of the western world.

I am not sure how well we can calculate GDP so far back.  The graph assumes a simple metric of one person to one unit of GDP, which may not be entirely accurate.  Who is to say?  At best, this is just a crude measure of economic output.  But the larger point is clear- that a handful of European or European-derived nations (the United States) have had an outsized share of global GDP since the Renaissance and the European discovery of the Americas – from around 1500.


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