Top 50 Cities by GDP Comparision 2014

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Visit the link to interactively play with the data: https://public.tableau.com/profile/brad.ballard#!/vizhome/Top50CitiesbyGDPComparision/Dashboard

We often see lists of GDP by country, but rarely by city. This is puzzling because most countries are empty space and GDP output is concentrated in a few small areas. For example, about 50% of US GDP is generated on only 2% of its area – namely: cities. This is also the case around the world.

To put the importance of these 50 cities into perspective. The top 25 cities in the world generate 15.5 trillion dollars in GDP or 20.1% of total world GDP (2014 numbers). They do this with only 4.7% of world population and have a GDP per capita of 44 thousand dollars (4 times world average). The top 50 cities in the world generate 22.6 trillion dollars in GDP or 29.4% of total world GDP (2014 numbers). They do this with only 8.2% of world population and have a GDP per capita of 37 thousand dollars (3.5 times world average).

The GDP centers are clustered in geographic regions in North America, Western Europe, and Eastern Asia. Only a few cities are represented from the southern hemisphere and none from Africa or the Middle East. Asian cities tend to be larger in population, number of skyscrapers, and lower in GDP per capita. North American and Europen cities tend to have small-to-medium populations, low density, and a high GDP per capita.

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Europe GDP per Capita (PPP) 2017

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Above is a map of Europe displaying whether a country has a GDP per capita less than or greater than Turkey. The data is from the IMF in Oct 2017. Turkey has a GDP per capita of $24,912 at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). The data displays the income divide Europe where all of western Europe and Russia (labeled in Blue) have a higher standard of living than Turkey and most the former USSR and former Yugoslavia countries (labeled Red) have a lower standard of living than Turkey. The income differences help to explain some of the internal migration within Europe.

European Union Unemployment Rate 2017

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Above is a map displaying the unemployment rate for European Union member states as of May 2017. What sticks out is the slow economic recovery for the southern European states post-financial crisis, such as: Greece (with an unemployment rate of) 22.5%, Spain 17.5%, Itlay 11.3%, and Croatia 10.7%. Contrast this with the unemployment rate in the United States during the same period of 4.3%. The EU average unemployment rate stands at 7.8%, nearly twice as high of the US! An economic analysis of labor policies in most EU countries leads to this result as there is less fixability in the labor force among other factors. Despite this performance for the European Union as a whole, some countries are performing above average and are on par with the US in employment rate such as: Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, UK, Poland, and others.

Sunset Times in Europe and America

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Above is a map displaying the local sunset time on the summer solstice (June 20th), the longest sunlight day of the year. Time zones are indicated by gray vertical lines. You will notice that ‘local’ sunset time will vary based upon your east-west location within your time zone and also vary depending upon your north-south location within your time zone. Said differently, areas to the northwest within their time zones will have a later local sunset time. For example, eastern Alabama (far southeast) has a local sunset time before 8:00 pm, whereas northwestern North Dakota has a local sunset time close to 10:00 pm (both are in US Central Time Zone). Some areas are so far north that, during the summer months, they experience 24 hours of daylight (and conversely, during the winter months 24 hours of darkness). The map of Europe below also displays the local sunset time on the summer solstice.

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Political Cartoon Map, 2016

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Above is a cartoon map displaying Europe’s current political climate. Trump re-writing the NATO agreement, the Baltic States pushing back Russian expansion into Eastern Europe, Britain moving further away from the EU after their Brexit vote – what else stands out to you from the map?

China’s Population Density

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Only about 30 percent of China’s landmass is habitable with approximately 40% of it’s land covered by mountains (in the southwest) and an additional 25% deserts (in the northwest). The maps above display that 94% of China’s population lives on the eastern side of it’s territory. The map below displays the location of China’s deserts and arid regions.

China and India make of 40% of the world’s population and although this figure seems strikingly high, estimates from 1 AD indicate the China and India combined for 60% percent of world population back then! Anyone who has visited either country is aware that both have very high population density. For comparison, world population density is 140 people per square mile – India is about 10 times that with 1008 people per square mile (ppsm) and China is 370 ppsm. Given what we know about the geography of China, this density estimate is quite low and once discounting it’s uninhabitable land, China’s density is more around 1233 ppsm. (Given that about 25% of India’s land is uninhabitable, a more direct comparison would put India density at 1344 ppsm). For those interested, here is the population density for some other countries: European Union (UK included) 304 ppsm, United States 85 ppsm, Brazil 62 ppsm, Russia 21 ppsm, and Canada 9 ppsm.

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Historic Economic Power

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The chart above shows the percent of global economic power (defined as the weighted share of world GDP, trade, and net capital exports) for the top three countries in selected years ranging from 1870 to (projected) 2030. To me, the graph shows the decline in power of Britain from 1870 through 1950, the decline in power for the United States from 1950 through 2030 (although less quickly than Britain), and the rise of China from 2010 into the near future. What once was a European-centric world in the 1800’s is giving why to an East Asian-centric world in the 21 century with the rise of China and India. Side note: If the European Union is considered as a unified entity in the chart above, its scale and decline would closely match that of the US.

US And Europe Size

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The map above projects western and central Europe on top of a map of the United States. The European Union has 510 million people people living within a territory of 4,324,782 square km. Compare that to the Unites States with a population of 324 million people living within 9,883,517 square km of territory – the US is more than twice as big as the EU in area with only 2/3 its population.

What can be inferred from the numbers above is the population density between two areas. The EU has a population density of 304 people per square mile (almost as much as China at 370). Compare that the US with a population density of only 85 people per square mile! The world average population density is 140 people per square mile – if the US increases in population enough meet the world average, it’s population would increase to 530 million people. If the US ever become as densely populated as Europe, its population will swell to over 1.1 billion people – almost as much as present day China!

World University Rankings

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The graphic above displays a world map distorted relative to the population of each country and has pink bubbles indicating the location of the top 200 ranked universities in the world. The relative size of the bubbles indicate that the university is located closer to the top of the rankings and vise versa for smaller bubbles. What is striking about this map is the inequality of top universities globally, with virtually all of the top 200 schools located in the developed world.

Further, the concentration gets even more extreme at the very top of the rankings. From the 2015 numbers, the top 50 universities in the world are located in just 12 countries. The United States has a huge advantage in premier universities with 25 of the top 50 and 10 of the top 15! The next closest on the list is the United Kingdom with 7 in the top 50 (3 of these 7 in the top 10 – Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College London).

North America, Europe, and Australia account for 45 of the top 50 universities in the world. The remaining 5 located outside the western world are: National University of Singapore (26th), Peking University (42nd), University of Tokyo (43rd), University of Hong Kong (44th), and Tsinghua University (47th).