Concentration of Wealth Throughout History
This chart shows the economic prosperity of the world since the times of Jesus. In the beginning, economic prosperity was largely a function of where the largest populations were located. Prosperity had more to do with the number of births and deaths than actual productivity. Since the industrial revolution, productivity enhancements have been driving prosperity and wealth. Tools, machinery, and technology are the new engines of growth rather than birthrates and mortality.
Software and communication technologies allow us to exchange ideas more quickly, bringing about even greater opportunities for advancement. Today, the U.S. accounts for 5% of the world population and 21% of its GDP. Asia (minus Japan) accounts for 60% of the world’s population and 30% of its GDP.