Top 10 Visualizations of 2020
How do we best describe 2020 – a year of extraordinary impact? Our top visualizations offer key insights into some of the most popular topics out there. You might be surprised which ones came out on top.
- Wealth remained highly concentrated, with lower-end workers suffering the brunt of the economic fallout.
- Technology companies dominated the marketplace, with manufacturing concentrated in emerging markets.
- Each of these visualizations tells a different story, with at least one sure to resonate with you.
While we long assumed American dominance, it's clear that Asia's breakneck growth created some extremely wealthy women along the way.
Our visualization illustrates where some of the richest women in the world reside along with their estimated wealth.
The wealthiest woman in the world – Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, granddaughter of L'Oréal's founder, with $65.9 billion.
But don't forget Mackenzie Bezos, jumping to #3 with an estimated wealth of $59.6 billion. And Alice Walton, member of the Wal-Mart founding family, with $61 billion.
The U.S. is noticeably absent from the list of top 10 countries. Whether or not you believe the U.S. is the greatest country in the world, it is certainly not the wealthiest on a per capita basis. This visualization also highlights how poorly African nations fare due to low economic output and large populations.
With control of almost a third of the world's wealth, it's no contest - the United States remains at the top. Even China's rise in the last several decades leaves its total wealth at just over half of the size of the U.S.
However, when you combine all the Asian countries, they exceed all the Americas and Europe's wealth. In fact, all of Europe combined doesn't equal the wealth of the United States.
This visualization highlights an interesting trend amongst the major global economies.
Only four states, New Mexico, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Vermont, don't count a single billionaire as a resident.
While some of the wealthiest individuals live in typical big city hotspots, we often forget about folks like Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, or Charles Koch of Kansas.
Our visualization paints an interesting portrait across the American landscape, highlighting the shift from natural resource development to technology over the years.
John D. Rockefeller might have been the first billionaire, but today, he would get lost in the crowd of them.
The United States is home to 614 billionaires. Yet Asia holds plenty more with 799 across the continent. 388 alone call China home.
The visualization highlights the disparity in growing wealth among emerging and established economies compared to the rest of the world. Consider how large Africa is in terms of landmass and population, yet only claims 19 billionaires as residents.
2020 accelerated trends already in place. Direct-to-consumer delivery and technology hold the tops spots, as shown in our visualization.
When you look at traditional hard asset companies like energy, automotive, you get a sense of just how much the world has changed. Even in Asia, Samsung and Huawei hold two of the top ten spots for the world's largest companies.
Interestingly, the visualization highlights the importance of the banking and financial sector in North American and Asia, but only one company shows up for Europe.
Our world has changed dramatically over the last 40 years. European powerhouses from Italy to the United Kingdom slid from the top.
At the same time, emerging markets, especially China, shot up the list as they became manufacturing powerhouses.
One of the most interesting points – after Russia shifted away from Communism in the 1990s, their economy jumped into the top 10 in a decade.
Now, we’re seeing the U.S slip behind China as measured by Gross Domestic Product adjusted for purchasing power parity.
As the political landscape shifts in the United States and around the world, it's worth noting that despite heightened tensions, the U.S. and China rely on one another.
One of the most striking parts of the exports visualization is the size of U.S. trade with China. And believe it or not, that's set to expand.
At the same time, China imports more from Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan than it does from the U.S.
While it gives China more leverage over regional players, it shows the unequal footing the country has in their trade relationship with the United States.
Not even a decade ago Exxon Mobile was one of the largest companies in the world. Today's economy is dominated by technology.
What's fascinating is how the visualization highlights a key difference with Amazon.
Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet all garner high revenues and in most cases profits, with comparatively little staff.
Amazon turns a small profit yet employs a workforce that is nearly double that of all three of the others combined. So, it shouldn't surprise you their profit per employee is miniscule to say the least.
China delivers nearly twice the manufacturing output as the United States. Behind that, Japan is less than half of the U.S.
If you thought China dominated the global manufacturing landscape, you'd be right. In fact, Asia accounts for over half the global manufacturing output.
Despite efforts to boost U.S. manufacturing, levels remain below their peak over a decade ago.
Yet, the visualization again highlights the disparity with continent of Africa and the rest of the world.
These visualizations illustrate some stunning insights into wealth and economic activity. But will these topics dominate our discussions in 2021?We'd love to hear from you in the comments section.
From all of us, we wish you a happy holidays.