Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Where is Wealth Being Created?

GDP measured not per capita, but per km. Click for a larger view. Some of the details are quite interesting.


truepeers said...

What's with Java? And where are the offshore oil rigs?

And how do you locate wealth creation in a networked, increasingly knowledge-oriented economy? E.g. is it at head office or at the plant, or at the university, the venture capital firm, the stockmarket or the pension fund? I guess I'm saying such a map has to be on a global scale - it would get tough if you literally had to break it down kilometre by kilometre

chuck said...

Dunno, the high range -- $442,000 - $546,000,000 -- seems too broad to distinquish the top producers. So, for instance, how does southern England *really* compare to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany? How does it compare to Silicon Valley?

On the other hand, looking at the coast of the Persian Gulf, oil production seems to be included. I looked for matching effects from cocaine production, but couldn't convince myself they were there. Banking (Belgium) also seems to count. Anyway, I think a breakdown between exported natural resources, manufacturing, and other sources of wealth might be interesting.

David Thomson said...

Almost certainly, these nations must have a stable and sonewhat just government. They must be open to capitalism. After that, the rest will take care of itself.

loner said...

From the post: [GDP Density is] calculated by multiplying GDP per capita by the number of people per square kilometer.

The picture at the link explains a lot. Offshore oil rigs? How about Hawaii.

Fresh Air said...

Might be more useful to see this chart stripped of unihabited areas and given more stratums. It would appear that Europe is some kind of superforce, when in reality, it's just pretty densely populated compared with the rest of the world.

chuck said...


Coupled with the generally logarithmic scale, I think what we see is more a map of population density than wealth creation, although wealth and population are somewhat correlated. Integrating the logarithm by eye gives a poor idea of the total for a region. I would actually argue for a linear scale, even though some countries would simply disappear.

Morgan said...

That's a great graphic, and a hearty kudos to whomever took the trouble. I won't nitpick, because some things are cool enough to be worth it, warts and all. Including me, hopefully.

I ran into another one recently that was also interesting. This one is more US-centric, but gives a sense of the massive scale of the American enterprise. It surprises some people, apparently.

It's here .

loner said...


I agree.

This graphic originated(?) in an article entitled Geography and Economic Development and is, aside from the loss of Hawaii and no topography beyond dry-wet, probably exactly what the authors were looking for.

Knucklehead said...

There's something screwy about this picture. I can't tell what it is, but...

Look at Italy and how deeply blood-colored (wwealthy) it is. No denying Italy is a wealthy nation. It may be particularly so in GDP/sq. km. I dunno.

But also look at the Boston to DC corridor in the US. Or FL. Or CA. I just can't believe that all of Italy is wealthier (in GDP/sq. km.) than those areas but the map suggests it.

There's something screwy with this picture.

terrye said...

Yes, the map does look like it tells us more about population density than wealth.

I saw some poll somewhere and [assuming it is not pure bs],it stated that about 55% did not approve of the way the economy was being handled. And I wondered what do people expect?

I would probably have the same job no matter who was in the White House. My taxes might be higher if Gore had won but other than that I really don't know what difference it would have made.

Then I think maybe it is about gas prices, but people somehow paid for that gas.

I don't know, I remember years ago when all people wanted was a job, now it has to have a good retirement plan and insurance and paid vacation etc. The more people get, the more they want. Just look at the houses. I see houses being built in subdivisions that would have qualified as mansions not so long ago. But folks took that 5,000 sq ft in their stride and decided they were doing without if they could not afford a boat.

I would be beatter off today if I had not married my ex and had gotten my teaching certificate instead. But that was my mistake, not some politician's.