A richer world

Over the past fifty years, GDP per capita has risen dramatically across the globe.


In the 50 years since McKinsey Quarterly began publication, a rising economic tide has lifted much of the world. Each block in the chart below represents a country, with the block’s height indicating GDP per person and its width population. Not only has progress been widespread, but the world’s widest, most populous blocks—China and India—have become dramatically richer, with per capita wealth in China moving to more than $10,000, from roughly $600. On the far right of this economic map, US per capita GDP has increased to nearly $50,000, from roughly $20,000.

For more on the world’s past and future growth prospects, see “A productivity perspective on the future of growth.”

About the author(s)

Lindsay Pollak is a consultant in McKinsey’s Silicon Valley office, Jaana Remes is a partner with the McKinsey Global Institute, and Anna Thomas is an alumna of the San Francisco office.

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