Asia rises again

Published in the Boston Globe

By Robert Muggah

This map shows how economic power moved from east to west over the course of centuries — and then snapped rapidly back east over the past few decades.

Between 1 and 1000 AD, China and India were the leading global economies. The industrialization of Western Europe and North America pulled the center westward, into the North Atlantic, between the 1800s and 1950. Japan’s post-World War II boom pulled the center eastward between 1950 and 1980 — and then China’s resurgence tugged the center of gravity dramatically eastward between 1990 and 2020 at a faster pace than at any earlier time in human history.

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