World GDP Last 2000 Years

There was a good article in the Atlantic on economic history today.

Some observations:

  • China was the leading economic power over 17 of the last 20 centuries.
  • I was surprised how big India shows up in the past.
  • I would have thought that Spain was much bigger in the years between 1500 and 1800.
  • Italy is the leading European power in the first 1000 years, due to the Roman heritage, but it declined rapidly.
  • Observe Japan’s decline after the 1980 heyday.
  • The U.S. is in a gentle but steady decline ever since 1950, reminds me of Italy between 1 and 1000, only faster.