Cities have long been the world’s economic dynamos, but today the speed and scale of their expansion are unprecedented.
However the following map, made by the McKinsey Global Institute, is an insightful visualisation of economic development around the globe over the last two thousand years.
It’s fascinating to trace the path of the economic center of the world from the days of the Roman Empire through the middle of the 20th century, the centre moved West, at first gradually, but then much more rapidly as Europe and North America started to industrialize.
Since that time, with the rise of emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere, the center has begun to shift back to the East and South.
If McKinsey’s projections about demographics and growth in the next few years are correct, that shift will only continue and accelerate, as emerging and developing markets continue to grow rapidly while developed markets grow at a much slower pace.
Fortunately Australia is geographically located in the right place at the right time as our neighbours and trading partners become more economically significant.