Thursday, October 18, 2018

Unequal Neighbors

This interactive map is an interesting Visualization of Differences in GDP per Capita of Neighboring Countries. Essentially the map makes obvious where countries around the world have under-performing economies in comparison to their immediate neighbors.

On the map the reddest countries are those with the lowest relative GDP compared to their immediate neighbors. In other words the reddest countries have the poorest performing economies when they are directly compared to the economies of neighboring countries. For example Mexico has a relativity low GDP per capita when compared to the USA. If Mexico's immediate neighbors were in South America it wouldn't appear so red on the map.

Another way to assess the health of a country's economy is to examine its level of debt as a percentage of GDP. Japan has the highest level of government debt in the world using this metric. The Japanese government currently owes 214% of Japan's GDP. The PIG's (Portugal, Italy and Greece) all still owe over 100% of their GDP. The United States just misses out on being a member of the plus 100% club with a government debt of 98%.

McKinsey & Company has created an interactive map that visualizes the debt of 51 different countries around the world. The Visualizing Global Debt map provides a choropleth view of how much debt is held by each of the 51 different countries and how that debt has progressed since the global financial crisis of 2008.

The map doesn't just look at government debt. You can also visualize household debt in each of the 51 featured countries. Switzerland is the country with the highest household debt, with an average household debt of 127%. Household debt includes such things as mortgages, student loans and consumer credit. Household debt in the USA is currently 78% of GDP.

Those who like their GDP served straight up can always refer to the World Bank's map of GDP per Capita. This interactive map provides a simple choropleth view of every country's GDP per person. In 2017 the five countries with the highest GDP per capita were Luxembourg, Macao, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

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