2022: The year in charts

Our Charting the Path to the Next Normal series offers a daily chart that helps explain a changing world—as we strive for sustainable, inclusive growth. Here we’ve curated 22 of this year’s best data visualizations that have illuminated some of the key themes and trends covered in our publishing—inflation, geopolitical upheaval, evolving health priorities, inclusion, net zero, digital trust, and more. Together, they capture a lot of what our collective next normal looked and felt like in 2022. Browse through the charts below to learn more about the storylines that could resonate well beyond this year.


Resilience becomes essential

Leaders continue to confront multiple crises: a geopolitical conflict, rising inflation, the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and talent turnover. The challenges have called for broad resilience frameworks.

US employees have left and returned to the workforce for a number of reasons.

Image description:

Two side-by-side bar graphs each showing the top 12 reasons why US employee respondents either left an old job or accepted a new job.

The top three reasons for respondents leaving a job without another in hand were:

  1. Uncaring leaders
  2. Unsustainable work performance expectations
  3. Lack of career development and advancement potential.

The top three reasons for respondents accepting their current job were:

  1. Workplace flexibility
  2. Adequate total compensation package
  3. Sustainable work performance expectations.

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Most European and US Fortune 500 companies have scaled back operations in or exited Russia.

Image description:

Three vertical columns of arranged dots representing Fortune 500 companies with a presence in Russia, before and after the Invasion of Ukraine. The dots are collected into circular groups for each of the company’s areas of production. They are further broken down into two colors, one color representing those whose headquarters are in Europe, the UK, or the US, and the second color for headquarters in all other regions.

These groupings of circles of dots in two colors are stacked vertically above one another by their different area of production. A final layer of information is then broken off by arrows pointing in one direction for companies still in Russia, and in the other direction for those that have left Russia as of April 28, 2022. Both those that are staying and those that have left Russia are represented left and right in the same colored-dot configuration, broken by HQ location.

The visual indicates that many more have left Russia than have remained behind.

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Prices for commodities are higher across the board.

Image description:

A series of eight line graphs covering the monthly change in global commodity prices (including Energy, Agriculture, Fertilizers, Metals and minerals, Food, and Grains) from January 2020 through May 2022, represented as an index with 100 equaling the 2010 average. The graphs start out on or well below the index line of 100 in 2020, but before the end of 2020 all have ascended beyond as prices for all commodities have increased.

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The majority of people who quit their jobs in the past two years are not returning to the industries the left.

Image description:

A circular representation of 100% of all workers who quit their jobs between April 2020 and April 2022. Each percentage point is visualized as an individual human silhouette. The 100 people are further proportionately broken into three colors. Each color represents a different result after quitting: 17 did not return to the workforce, 48 moved to a different industry, and the remaining 35 took a new job in the same industry. A further highlighted box points out that a full 65 out of 100 people did not return to the same industry.

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Resilient companies did better at the outset of the downturn and after.

Image description:

Two side by side line graphs, one wider and covering more years, and one narrower and covering fewer years.

The first line graph shows total shareholder return performance beginning in the 2008 financial crisis. The data is represented as an index with 100 being equal to 2007 average shareholder return. The downturn and recovery from the crash are marked, and three data sets are shown as different colored lines on the graph: one line for resilient companies, one for nonresilients, and between them the S&P 500 stock market average as a benchmark. Resilient companies far outperform the nonresilients and also outperform the S&P 500.

The second line graph shows total shareholder return performance beginning at the most recent market crash during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data is represented as an index with 100 being equal to 2019 average shareholder return. Three data sets are shown as different colored lines on the graph: one line for resilient companies, one for nonresilients, and between them the S&P 500 stock market average as a benchmark. Again, resilient companies far outperform the nonresilients and also outperform the S&P 500.

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Health priorities evolve beyond the pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis upended businesses and transformed health systems. As certain parts of the world shift from the pandemic to endemic stage, leaders across public and private sectors are exploring new ways of improving health outcomes.

National immunity levels have varying components and change constantly.

Image description:

A series of six area graphs showing COVID-19 national immunity levels for six nations starting in January 2021 and ending in July 2022. Included are Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The graphs are broken into three color bands. One for immunity driven by past infection of unvaccinated people, one driven by past infection of vaccinated people, and the final one driven by those who had no past infection but who had been vaccinated. Each of the graphs is generally trending upward in national immunity but the supporting levers to immunity shift and change. Australia is the closest to national immunity, clearly driven by vaccinations.

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What is the impact of disease and ill health within the United States?

Image description:

A series of fifty spider graphs presented in the shape roughly resembling the United States. Each spider graph has five segments representing one of five public health outcomes. The segments include maternal health, behavioral health, environmental health, chronic diseases and communicable diseases. Each spider graph contains five pizza-slice-shaped ratings, each broken into four quartiles scores, with the bottom quartile performance barely showing and the top quartile performer filling the available space. Each spider graph then shows how each of the states does by which quartile they are in for each of the five metrics.

A pattern of poor performance overall can be seen for many of the southern and central states, with others doing poorly in individual segments.

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Around 20 percent of all Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial outpatient, emergency-department, and home health spending could be virtually enabled.

Image description:

A large square tree map represents the total outpatient, emergency department and home health spending in the United States. The tree map is broken into two areas: the larger area is nonvirtualized healthcare at around $1 trillion, and the smaller area (and focus of the exhibit) is virtual healthcare at $247 billion. The $247 billion box is further broken into smaller boxes proportionate to their dollar value, representing virtual healthcare areas such as urgent care, virtual and near-virtual office visits, virtual home health visits and home medication administration spending.

An additional area examines each of these subsets of the $247 billion in spending. The percentages of outpatient, emergency department and home health subsets can be enabled as colored circles within larger 100% circles, and show that virtual home visits have the most immediate potential.

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Surveyed nurses express an increased intention to leave direct patient care.

Image description:

A vertical segmented bar graph and a further breakdown of a segment of the bar graph are shown. The vertical bar graph shows a breakdown of nurses’ likelihood of leaving the profession based on their responses, which run from definitely leaving through undecided to not leaving. The top three segments of definitely leaving, very likely to leave and somewhat likely to leave add up to around 32%.

This 32% is examined further in a series of 15 factors expressed as circles that have influenced the 100% of nurse respondents who expressed some likelihood of leaving. The top three circles contain the top three reasons nurse respondents would consider leaving: insufficient staffing levels, feeling not listened to or supported at work, and looking for more compensation.

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Inclusion opportunities abound

What does a more inclusive economy look like? Institutions across business, government, and society are taking action, but there’s more work to be done.

Venture capital firms fund Black beauty brands at lower rates and amounts than non-Black brands.

Image description:

Two exhibits are displayed side by side.

The first contains three 100% squares representing all of the money that venture capital firms have spent in funding US beauty brands as of August 2021. The three squares from left to right are labeled total, early-stage, and late-stage funding. Within each of the 100% squares, the venture capital funding is specific to Black-owned beauty brands. This is a very small share of the total funding at 8%, early stage at 9%, and late stage at 4%.

The second exhibit shows two proportional squares side by side, representing the median value of total venture capital funding raised by US beauty companies from 2011–16 in millions of dollars. Black brands have been funded to around $5e million while all others have received around $50 million.

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Bisexual and transgender employees are more likely than other surveyed employees to report experiencing microaggressions at work.

Image description:

Scattered data points, representing results of responses to three key questions about microaggressions, are organized by self-identified sexual orientation and gender. The first key question was on how often respondents were interrupted or spoken over more than others. The second key question was around how often a respondent’s judgment in their area of expertise was questioned. The third key question was on how often respondents felt they had to be careful talking about their private lives. Overall the exhibit displays that straight people, especially straight men, report the least of any aggressions, while gay men/women, bisexual/pansexual men/women, and trans men/women each report overall increasing microaggressions in that order, with nonbinary respondents seemingly most effected of all.

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Toxic workplace behavior is the biggest driver of negative workplace outcomes, such as burnout and intent to leave.

Image description:

Two segmented bar graphs side by side have eight bars in total. The bars contain data on workplace outcomes based on toxic workplace behavior broken into areas of the factors likely to effect different outcomes. The five bars on the left are collected under the heading “negative outcomes,” and the three bars on the right are collected under the heading “positive outcomes.”

On the left, the five segmented bars under negative outcomes represent burnout, distress, anxiety, depression, and intent to leave. Toxic workplace behavior is by far the most important factor in each bar. On the right under positive outcomes, three segmented bars represent job satisfaction, work engagement and organizational advocacy. Toxic workplace behavior is almost invisible in these bars.

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Workers of color are underrepresented in the US industries with the highest-paying frontline roles.

Image description:

Two charts are shown. The left-hand chart is of horizontal segmented bars broken by race, where bars represent the share of each individual race within each of thirteen private sector industries. The industry bars are ordered from top to bottom by the second of the two charts, which shows the annual wage in thousands of dollars per annum. When viewed together, it becomes apparent that certain races seem to be more prevalent in higher-paying jobs.

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Despite modest progress, women are still dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles.

Image description:

Chart containing six vertical segmented bars. The bars represent career management levels in ascending order of seniority, including: entry level, manager, senior manager/director, vice president, senior vice president, and c-suite. The 100% bars are segmented by gender, and it is clear that, overall, the number of women dwindles and the number of men increases the closer to the C-suite we get. In a secondary segmentation by race, we see that the number of Black women and Black men dwindle faster than their White colleagues, with Black men faring slightly better.

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Net zero has new urgency

The conflict in Ukraine and a volatile global economy may have complicated the net-zero transition, but the need to scale up climate solutions has never been more apparent. There’s an opportunity for bold leaders to build green businesses and protect the planet.

The NGFS Net Zero 2050 scenario would entail around $25 trillion more in cumulative investments over 30 years than the Current Policies scenario.

Image description:

Two charts side by side, each representing a “Network for Greening the Financial System” scenario for the cost of attaining net zero, covering the annual spending required to purchase physical assets for energy and land-use systems, measured in trillions of dollars per year. The bars represent spending required by the individual system and include segments for hydrogen biofuels and heat, agriculture, industry, forestry, fossil fuels, buildings, power and mobility. By far the largest is the mobility share. The total spend in the first Net Zero 2050 scenario is around $275 trillion, and in the second chart (the “Current Policies” scenario), the total spend is around $250 trillion.

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Eleven high-potential value pools could be worth more than $12 trillion of yearly revenues by 2030 as the net-zero transition advances.

Image description:

A vertical bar chart contains 11 bars that gradually grow in height from left to right. The bars represent the areas of the 11 high-potential value pools that could be worth more than $12 trillion in annual revenue by 2030. From left to right the value pools are carbon management; industrials; waste; hydrogen; then oil, gas, and fuels ; followed by agriculture and land use; then consumer; water; power; buildings; and finally transport.

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Approximately 740,000 tons of end-of-life apparel textiles in California are expected to be landfilled; only about 5,000 tons are closed-loop recycled.

Image description:

A T-shirt created using 740 dots, each dot representing a thousand tons of end-of-life apparel textiles that are estimated to have been landfilled in California in 2020. A group of 5 of the dots are a different color, representing the tiny proportion (less than 1%) that is actively recycled in California.

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With innovation comes responsibility

Web3, innovations in the space industry, AI ethics: technology continues to present growth opportunities for companies and raises important questions. Developing digital trust with consumers could be key going forward.

The overall growth in the global semiconductor market is driven by the automotive, data storage, and wireless industries.

Image description:

The image is in two parts. The first part is of two segmented bar charts for 2021 and 2030 showing the size of the global semiconductor market in billions of dollars, broken into six segments. The six segments are computing and data storage, wireless communication, automotive electronics, industrial electronics, consumer electronics, and wired communications. In 2021 the total was $590 billion, and in 2030 it is projected to be $1,065 billion, a compound annual growth rate of around 7%.

A second graph shows each individual segment’s share of the growth as a percentage of the total growth from 2021 to 2030.

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Consumers value digital trust

Image description:

A three-part infographic. Part one:

A headline of: “Consumers value digital trust”

An opening paragraph says: “Consumers report that digital trust truly matters. They want companies to provide clear information about their AI and data practices, they expect rigorous data protections to be in place, and they will make purchase decisions based on these premises.”

Then a deliberately incomplete subhead says: “Consumers want transparency about digital policies ...”

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Our data-visualization editors Richard Johnson, Matt Perry, Jonathon Rivait, and Jessica Wang created many of the charts featured in this collection and choose the best of their creations for our daily Charting the Path to the Next Normal series. This collection was assembled by Mike Borruso, Christopher Friedmann, Richard Johnson, Stephen Landau, Katie Shearer, Andrew Simon, Amanda Soto, Sarah Thuerk, and Nathan Wilson.

This page is just part of our full year-end series celebrating the best of McKinsey Global Publishing in 2022. See the full collection at 2022 year in review.