The Earth’s Economic Center of Gravity: The Two Thousand Year Loop

By Shlomo  Maital

          Center of Gravity

   A brilliant study by McKinsey Global Research scholars did the following:  Let a country’s GDP be its ‘weight’.  Calculate the world’s “center of gravity” based on the weight of each country.  Do this for the past 2000 years. 

   The results are shown above.  In AD 1, and in the year 1000, the center of gravity of the world, in terms of economics and wealth, was in Asia.  This was mainly because of China, which had technologies no other nation could even dream of. But the Chinese emperor decided to destroy them, fearing what they would do to his traditional society. (In retrospect, he was perhaps somewhat wise).   As Britain led the First Industrial Revolution, the center of gravity rapidly shifted West, to Europe.  Then, after World War II, it shifted again rapidly, to the West,  to the United States.

   From 1950 to 2000, the world’s center of gravity shifted again, this time back to the East – first northeast, as Europe grew and expanded, and then, rapidly, back to the Southeast,  toward China.  By 2025,  the world’s center of gravity will be solidly in Asia,  essentially in China, as China becomes the world’s largest economy.

   And the 2,000-year loop will be complete.

   Each of us can draw his or her own conclusions.