2023: The year in charts

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Our Chart of the Day series offers a daily data visualization that helps explain a changing world—as we strive for sustainable, inclusive growth. Here, we’ve curated 23 of this year’s best charts. They cover many of the key themes and trends that organizations have had to grapple with: AI, economic uncertainty, the escalation of geopolitical risks, inclusion in the workplace, climate change, and more. The following data visualizations help tell the story of 2023—and what leaders might be puzzling through in years to come.

Leading through uncertainty is the new normal

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has lessened as a major global threat, leaders must still navigate a set of unprecedented challenges, from economic headwinds to geopolitical instability to shifting workplace norms. Amid the growing uncertainty, opportunities still emerge for the bold.

Top CEOs identify disruptive technology, the economy, and geopolitics as the most important trends to act on in 2023.

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A series of nine boxes is displayed, with each box containing circles, representing a total of 100%. The boxes show the results of 73 CEOs polled on which trends will have the greatest effect on how they lead their organizations. The boxes are ordered in 3 rows, with high impact at the top, medium impact in the middle, and low impact at the bottom. The high-impact trends are disruptive digital technologies at 58%, inflation and the economy at 56%, and geopolitical instability at 47%. The medium-impacts trends are war for talent at 34%, shifts in the way we work at 30%, and climate change and net-zero transition at 29%. The low-impact trends are increase in supply chain disruptions at 14%, higher expectations for companies to have social purpose at 11%, and persistence of the gender and racial gap in the economy at 7%.

Footnote 1: Question: From your perspective as a current or former CEO, which of the following trends will have the biggest impact on how you lead/would lead your organization in 2023 and beyond, compared with past years? Respondents selected their 3 most important trends.

Source: McKinsey CEO Excellence Survey

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The consumer price index ticked up to 3.2 percent in July. Energy and food prices remain major inflationary contributors.

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A vertical bar chart shows positive and negative change in the consumer price index for 4 drivers—food, energy, goods, and services—in the US, Jan 2019 to Aug 2023. From Jan 2019 to Feb 2021, change in the index is between 0.5–2.0%. By Mar 2021, the index begins to increase, peaking at ~9% in June 2022, driven by energy, goods, and services first, then also by food. The index reduced each month thereafter to ~3.2% in Aug 2023, with services as the leading driver.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics; McKinsey Global Economics Intelligence analysis.

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Following the invasion of Ukraine, defense spending accelerated in most border and former Eastern bloc countries.

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Three bar charts show estimated defense spending as a percentage of GDP by NATO countries. The 3 charts represent countries bordering Russia or Ukraine, other former Eastern bloc countries, and other NATO countries. The first chart, countries bordering Russia or Ukraine, shows fulfillment of or advancement beyond the NATO target of 2% of national GDP for spending in 2023. The second chart, former Eastern bloc countries, shows an overall lag in reaching that NATO target but with a push above the planned 2021 spending targets, close to the NATO 2023 target. The third chart, other NATO countries, shows a mix of lagging behind and advancing beyond the NATO 2023 target, with many still behind the 2021 commitment.

Footnote: In May 2022, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden submitted an official letter of application to join the NATO alliance. Sweden is an official NATO invitee. At its summit in July 2023, NATO said that “it looks forward to welcoming Sweden as a full member of the Alliance.”

Source: Data are taken from Florian Dorn, Niklas Potrafke, and Marcel Schlepper, “NATO defense spending in 2023: Implications one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” EconPol policy brief, May 2023; McKinsey analysis.

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Although the global level of burnout is around 20 percent, cognitive and emotional impairment, exhaustion, and mental distance vary by country.

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The main visual is a series of areas squares each representing a different percentage of respondents reporting different types of stress, these include a square for exhaustion, one for mental distance, one for cognitive impairment, and one for emotional impairment. These four are arranged around a central square sized for overall burnout symptoms forming a little stress map. There are data sets for thirty different countries from different regions of the world and different areas of the stress maps, or different size overall indicates more- or less stress. From a quick look countries that report high stress overall and high burnout stress include India, Chile, and Saudi Arabia, countries reporting low levels of stress and burnout include, Cameroon, Colombia, and the Netherlands. McKinsey Health Institute Employee Holistic Health Survey, 30,392 participants at all levels of the organization, Apr–Jun 2023

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Survey results show that most companies address the basics when it comes to hybrid work, some have advanced further, and few have completed all steps.

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A series of segmented bar charts are split respondents’ agreement or disagreement with 12 statements regarding their organizations’ hybrid work strategies. The statement that most respondents agreed with was that employee sentiment and well-being were actively incorporated into workplace-experience decisions, with a net agreement of 80%. The fewest respondents agreed with the statement that the organization had a unified, easily accessible, and up-to-date playbook documenting how it works, scoring a net of minus –8%, or 8% who disagreed with that statement.

Footnote: Question: How much do you agree with the following statements, considering your organization at the enterprise level?

Source: McKinsey Workplace Experience Readiness Benchmark Survey, Q4 2022 (n = 51 firms, representing ~3 million employees).

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If all excess office space was converted into residences, housing stock in superstar cities would grow by less than 3 percent.

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A bar graph shows what the estimated increase in housing stock would be for a selection of global superstar cities in Asia, Europe, and North America if all excess office space were converted into residences by 2030. From left to right across all cities studied, the maximum increase would be 2.6 percent. From left to right, highest to lowest, the housing stock increase percentages are as follows: Shanghai, 2.6; Boston, 2.5; London, 2.1; Beijing, 1.6; San Francisco, 1.5; Munich, 1.4; Chicago, 1.4; New York City, 1.0; Tokyo, 1.0; Atlanta, 0.8; Toronto, 0.7; Paris, 0.5; and Houston, 0.4.

Footnote: Excess office space means space projected to be vacant beyond what would result from the structural vacancy rate (defined as the average vacancy rate from 2014 to 2019).

Source: McKinsey Global Institute analysis.

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Asia has become the world’s largest economic and trading region.

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An animation of a dual-axis graph shows the top 80 global goods trade routes, by value and growth, and rotates through 3 titles, each highlighting Asia’s role as the world’s trade hub. Dots represent the top 80 routes broken into “within Asia,” “cross-regional involving Asia,” and “non-Asian.” For each title, the y-axis represents the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2016–21, and the x-axis is the trade flow value in 2021 in billions of dollars.

  • The first title states, “Asia has become the world’s largest economic and trading region.” Asian countries take up all or part of 49 of the 80 routes.
  • The second title is “Asia is home to 18 of the world’s 20 fastest-growing corridors,” and the chart highlights these routes. The corridor between mainland China and the UAE has the highest CAGR by growth, and the corridor between mainland China and Taiwan, China, has the highest trade flow by growth.
  • The third state states, “Asia is also where 13 of the world’s 20 largest trade corridors by value are,” and highlights these 13 routes. The corridor between Brazil and mainland China is the highest valued by CAGR, and the corridor between mainland China and the US is highest valued by trade flow.

Note: Top 80 routes represent >50% of global trade volume.

Source: UN Comtrade; McKinsey Global Institute analysis.

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AI takes center stage

Generative AI received outsize attention this year, but it’s still just one of several technological advancements that could catalyze significant change across both business and society.

Advances in AI’s technical capabilities could have the most impact on activities performed by educators, professionals, and creatives.

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A bar graph shows the technical automation potential in the US in 2023 by occupation group. Groups are listed from top to bottom by most impacted to least impacted, both without and with generative AI (gen AI) as a factor. The top 3 most impacted without gen AI are office support, 66%; production work, 73%; and food services, 70%. The top 3 most impacted with gen AI are office support, 87%; production work, 82%; and food services, 78%. The bottom 3 least impacted without gen AI are health aides, technicians, and wellness, 34%; health professionals, 29%; and property maintenance, 29%. The bottom 3 least impacted with gen AI are health aides, technicians, and wellness, 43%; health professionals, 43%; and property maintenance, 38%. An increase in risk of automation for all with gen AI is shown.

Note: Figures may not sum to 100%, because of rounding.

Footnote 1: Overall technical automation potential, comparison in midpoint scenarios.

Footnote 2: Previous assessment of work automation before the rise of generative AI.

Source: McKinsey Global Institute analysis.

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While STEM, healthcare, builders, and professional fields continue to add jobs, generative AI could change work activities significantly for many occupations.

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A scatterplot shows the effect of generative-AI-driven automation on labor demand changes across 17 US sectors from 2022 to 2030. Each sector is denoted by a circle. Sectors such as STEM, creative and arts management, business and legal, and education and workforce training appear in the top-right quadrant, indicating increasing labor demand and significant work activity changes due to automation. Footnote 1: Midpoint automation adoption is the average of early and late automation adoption scenarios as referenced in McKinsey’s June 2023 report, “The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier.”

Footnote 2: Demand factors include income growth, aging populations, technology and infrastructure investment (including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), education levels, net-zero transitions, marketization of unpaid work, new occupations, automation (including generative AI), increased remote work, and e-commerce.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics; Current Population Survey, US Census Bureau; McKinsey Global Institute analysis.

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Job postings for fields related to tech trends grew by 400,000 between 2021 and 2022, with generative AI growing the fastest.

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A set of 15 area graphs depict the volume of job postings across various tech trends for 2021 and 2022. These trends rank from highest to lowest in terms of job creation. Topping the list, applied AI had about 650,000 job postings in 2022, reflecting a 6% increase from 2021. Next-generation software development tallied close to 600,000 postings in 2022, marking a 29% rise from the previous year. Cloud and edge computing saw about 475,000 job postings, a boost of 12% from 2021. Trust architectures and digital identity came next with roughly 350,000 job postings, an uptick of 16%. Rounding out the top 5, the future of mobility category had approximately 325,000 job postings, showing a 15% increase from 2021.

Footnote: This analysis is based on a survey of 150 million job postings. Job postings are not directly equivalent to the number of new or existing jobs.

Source: McKinsey’s proprietary Organizational Data Platform, which draws on licensed, de-identified public professional profile data.

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Satellites have rapidly improved their cost performance compared with many other technologies.

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A series of blue and gray circles show the proportional change in costs over time as multiples of the later much cheaper cost. Comparisons include a plasma TV, which was 5 times more expensive in 1997 than in 2007, and an IBM mainframe computer, which was 765 times more expensive in 1970 than an IBM PC in 1984. The examples highlight the rapid reduction in cost of satellites. Two cases are highlighted within the circles: a 2013 medium-resolution satellite cost ~3,500 times that of a medium-resolution satellite in 2022, and a 2016 high-resolution satellite cost ~333 times what a similar satellite cost in 2022. The overall impression is that cost performance for satellites has dropped impressively compared with other technologies.

Footnote 1: Prices are converted to 2022 dollars. Comparisons reflect products with similar end markets; however, they are not meant to construe perfect substitutes. Products may not be comparable on other factors (eg, satellites may not be comparable on data rates, signal-to-noise ratio, lifetime, but the increase is notable even on other dimensions, such as dollar per bit).

Source: American Enterprise Institute; Center for Strategic & International Studies; CPI inflation calculator, expert interviews; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; McKinsey analysis

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Drones could become cost competitive with other transport modes.

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This square pie chart shows the comparative costs of delivery methods for a 6-inch cube parcel within 5 miles, and the various shares of those costs that fall into labor, energy, or others (such as asset, maintenance, and insurance). The image animates onto the screen. The 4 delivery methods being compared are a drone, an electric car, an electric van, and an internal combustion engine van. None of the vehicle types are automated, as each would require an operator. The drone is indicated as the most expensive in an overall cost comparison. The bottom portion of the chart displays volume circles, identifying the CO2 emissions output for each delivery method. In this comparison, the drone has, by far, the lowest emissions.

Footnote 1: Other costs include asset, maintenance, and insurance costs.

Footnote 2: Scopes 2 and 3.

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Supporting inclusion takes work

Communities and economies are stronger when opportunities are accessible to all. Organizations across the globe continue to work toward meaningful progress in achieving growth that is sustainable and inclusive.

Black talent is underrepresented in the fastest-growing technical roles.

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A series of 15 pie charts show different roles in the technology industry, and the estimated percentage of Black workers in each of those roles. Each pie chart has a line at 12%, representing the average share of Black talent in the overall workforce, and shows where certain technology roles fall against that line. Black employees are well below that line in roles such as software development, data science, and web development. The share of Black workers aligns with the 12% overall workforce figure or is higher than that in roles such as network support, IT project management, and cybersecurity.

Source: State of the tech workforce, CompTIA, Mar 2022

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Women’s representation saw modest gains throughout the corporate pipeline, but women of color remain underrepresented.

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A series of segmented bar graphs show representation in corporate roles by gender and race, from entry level to manager, senior manager/director, vice president, senior vice president, and C-suite. Entry level shows near parity on gender, with 34% White men, 18% men of color, 29% White women, and 19% women of color. While C-suite shows a greater gender gap, with 57% White men, 15% men of color, 22% White women, and 6% women of color.

Note: Figures may not sum to 100%, because of rounding. Total percent of women per level may not sum to overall corporate pipeline totals, because overall fi¬gure does not include employees with unreported race data.

Source: Women in the Workplace 2023, McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org

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Depending on the level, global gender parity in investing roles may take multiple decades to achieve.

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A circular graphic represents the number of years it will take women to reach gender parity in managerial roles in the investing industry. It is based on the average rate of progress achieved in 2021 and 2022 and on women’s representation as a percentage of total investing roles at each level by the end of 2022. From lowest to highest level, reaching gender parity will take 4 years at entry level, 8 years at associate level, 11 years at vice president level, 35 years at principal level, and 62 years at managing director level.

Footnote: Figures are based on the average progress rate achieved in 2021 and 2022 and on women’s representation as a percentage of total investing roles in each level at the end of 2022. Based on data provided by 66 PE firms. Responses cover more than 60,000 employees.

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An estimated 20,000 individuals experienced homelessness in San Francisco in 2022.

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A flow diagram shows the factors causing an estimated 20,000 individuals to experience homelessness in San Francisco in 2022. That total is divided into flows to represent the number affected by each factor: 7,650 from economic factors, 4,650 from health factors, 4,150 from social factors, and 900 from other factors. There’s a separate flow for those who were chronically homeless in the prior year. These flows are then divided again to show the end states of these individuals, with around 581 rapidly rehoused, 260 diverted from homelessness altogether, 9,851 precariously housed, 1,708 moved into permanent supportive housing, 150 either dying or migrating, and 4,900 and 2,550 remaining nonchronically and chronically homeless, respectively. Those who were precariously housed or nonchronically or chronically homeless filter back into the cycle.

Source: “Direct homeless exits through city programs,” City Performance Scorecards, City and County of San Francisco; “Listen: How access to safe, affordable housing improves outcomes for everyone,” Our America podcast, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, July 8, 2022; San Francisco homeless count and survey: 2022 comprehensive report, Applied Survey Research and San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, 2022.

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Net zero reaches a critical juncture

While the net-zero transition is moving forward, it isn’t happening fast enough. A significant acceleration of efforts to develop and deploy climate technologies, as well as more investment, will be needed to stave off the most severe effects of climate change.

G-20 economies need to reduce CO₂ emissions substantially to meet 2030 goals.

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An animated hollow pie chart shows CO2 emissions in gigatons for the G20 economies in 2020 and goals for 2030, with a breakdown by country, totaling 31.0. China holds the largest single share, at 12 gigatons, followed by the US at 4.4, and the EU at 2.8. When the animation rotates to the year 2030, it shows a total reduced-emissions target goal of 15.6 gigatons, with a breakdown of the reduction percentage required of each country to meet that goal. In this scenario, China would need to reduce emissions by 63% to 4.5 gigatons, the US by 56% to 2.0, and the EU by 55% to 1.3.

Footnote 1: Outcomes for the EU include those for France, Germany, and Italy.

Footnote 2: Target reduction for China means the optimal theoretical net-zero pathway, and not a policy expectation.

Source: NGFS; Oxford Economics; update to the McKinsey Global Institute report, “The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring,” McKinsey Global Institute, Jan 2022.

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To reach net-zero targets, a set of existing climate technologies would need to scale exponentially by 2030.

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A series of vertical line graphs represent the annual deployment requirements of 5 climate technologies needed to reach net-zero targets. From left to right, the technologies depicted are wind power capacity; solar-power capacity; battery electric car sales; green-hydrogen electrolyzer capacity; and carbon capture, utilization, and storage capacity. The line graphs use actual data for 2015 to 2021 and extend to show where each technology needs to be by 2030, based on multiples of the current supply. The line graphs show that all of the technologies are well below their targets as of 2021, which is the last actual data set analyzed, and further show that by 2030, wind-power capacity needs to increase six fold, solar-power capacity fourteen fold, battery electric car sales fourteen fold, green-hydrogen electrolyzer capacity by 200-fold, and carbon capture utilization and storge by 100-fold.

Footnote: The data are based on the McKinsey 1.5°C achieved commitments scenario, which represents existing commitments from companies and policies from countries.

Source: EV-Volumes; IEA; International Renewable Energy Agency; McKinsey analysis

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Demand for workers to develop and construct wind and solar assets in the European Union is set to increase by a factor of three to four by 2030.

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A pair of square-area pie charts show the estimated increased demand for workers needed to develop, construct, and operate wind and solar assets in the EU from 2020 to 2030. For 2020, 290,000 full-time personnel are required, and by 2030, an estimated 990,000 will be needed. The charts are further segmented into blue-collar vs white-collar jobs and then into operations and maintenance vs development and construction. By 2030, the largest number of jobs will be in operations and maintenance, including 445,000 blue-collar jobs and 285,000 white-collar jobs.

Footnote 1: Estimate based on current and expected build-out and full-time-equivalent workers per gigawatt estimates, based on different publications from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); learning rates have not been applied.

Footnote 2: Practical workers (eg, construction workers, technicians, ship crew, and operators).

Footnote 3: Remaining workers (eg, electrical, industrial, mechanical, and telecommunication engineers; and safety and regulation experts, financial analysts, and lawyers).

Source: Renewable energy benefits: Measuring the economics, IRENA, Jan 2016; McKinsey Global Energy Perspective, 2022, accelerated transition scenario.

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Most operational emissions in multifamily homes are caused by water and space heating.

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A Voronoi pie chart shows the average annual CO2 emissions from a dwelling, totaling 2,178 kilograms. The emissions are split across various sources. Appliances contribute 198 kilograms and cooking adds 44 kilograms. Further emissions are from electricity for space heating at 154 kilograms and lighting at 110 kilograms. Natural gas for space heating accounts for 770 kilograms, oil and propane for space heating add 242 kilograms, space cooling contributes 176 kilograms, and water heating produces 484 kilograms. Notably, the combined segment for space heating, which includes electricity, natural gas, and oil and propane, accounts for 53 percent of the total emissions per dwelling.

Source: McKinsey Real Estate Climate Action Platform.

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By 2030, the United States will need about 28 million ports to meet demand for zero-emission passenger vehicles.

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A series of 3 squares show the US charging demand for zero-emission vehicles in 2022 and projected demand for 2025 and 2030, measured in millions of ports required, private and public. In 2022 there were approximately 2.6 million ports, of which 2.5 million were private and 100,000 were public. By 2025 it is estimated that there will be 9.5 million ports, of which 9.0 million will be private and 500,000 public. The projection for 2030 shows a total of 28.0 million charging ports, of which 26.5 million will be private, and 1.5 million public. This is all based on a scenario where passenger electric vehicles account for nearly half of the vehicles sold in the US in 2030, in line with a federal target.

Source: McKinsey Center for Future Mobility.

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