For an even more detailed map showing GDP per person, population, and exports from The Economist, click here.
Back in 2007, I found this map from a blog post at dailykos.com showing the same thing with US states:
This US GDP map is a couple years old so it might not be incredibly accurate right now. But I think it should generally hold true or be in the same ballpark.
It's funny to see the shared countries on the two maps:
- Nebraska and Inner Mongolia's economies are both the size of the Czech Republic'sThe comparisons could go on.
- Virginia and Zhejiang are both the size of Austria
- Oklahoma and Beijing are both the size of the Philippines
- South Carolina and Hunan are both the size of Singapore
- New Mexico and Shanxi are both the size of Hungary
- West Virginia and Shaanxi are both the size of Algeria
- Kansas and Sichuan are both the size of Malaysia
A couple things of note: no Chinese province even comes close to US states like California, Texas, or Florida. In fact, there really aren't really any economic powerhouses on China's map at all. Also, when you compare a hugely populated province like Shandong (around 95 million people) to Switzerland (around 8 million people), a straight GDP number doesn't give a very meaningful picture of what the situation really is in the two places.
It'd be interesting to compare the populations of all of China's provinces with the population of the countries on the map. There's no way the countries on the map come close to China's 1.3 billion people.
Population disparities aside (China tends to screw up population-based comparisons), these maps do show just how dominant the winners of the world economy have been. The disparity between the haves and have nots has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few decades. This, I believe, is why we're seeing governments across the Middle East topple.
I'm watching everything in the Middle East with great excitement and trepidation. What happened in Egypt and Tunisia is incredible. What's going on in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, and other countries throughout the Arab world is frightening.
Democracy in the Middle East is going to be a long struggle. It's inspiring to think that 2011 could end up being a year that more than 100 million people were emancipated from autocratic rule. Saying that, there's no guarantee what will happen now that the strongmen at the top are gone. I hope that the US and other democracies around the world support any country striving towards honest and fair elections.
No matter what happens down the road, 2011 is shaping up to be a very historic year.