Charting the Last 20 Years of Supertall Skyscrapers
At the end of the 20th century, supertall skyscrapers—buildings exceeding 300 meters in height—were still somewhat of a novelty in the world.
Only 24 supertall skyscrapers existed at that time, with half of them located in U.S. cities. That list included iconic structures such as the Empire State Building and Willis Tower, as well as newer landmarks like Atlanta’s Bank of America Plaza.
According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) database, the following buildings comprised the world’s full roster of supertall skyscrapers in 1999:
|Building Name||City||Height (m)||Height (ft)||Completion|
|One World Trade Center||New York City 🇺🇸||417||1,368||1972|
|Two World Trade Center||New York City 🇺🇸||415||1,362||1973|
|Petronas Twin Tower 1||Kuala Lumpur 🇲🇾||452||1,483||1998|
|Petronas Twin Tower 2||Kuala Lumpur 🇲🇾||452||1,483||1998|
|Willis Tower||Chicago 🇺🇸||442||1,451||1974|
|Jin Mao Tower||Shanghai 🇨🇳||421||1,380||1999|
|CITIC Plaza||Guangzhou 🇨🇳||390||1,280||1996|
|Shun Hing Square||Shenzhen 🇨🇳||384||1,260||1996|
|Empire State Building||New York City 🇺🇸||381||1,250||1931|
|Central Plaza||Hong Kong 🇭🇰||374||1,227||1992|
|Bank of China Tower||Hong Kong 🇭🇰||367||1,205||1990|
|85 Sky Tower||Kaohsiung 🇨🇳||348||1,140||1997|
|Aon Center||Chicago 🇺🇸||346||1,136||1973|
|The Center||Hong Kong 🇭🇰||346||1,135||1998|
|875 North Michigan Avenue||Chicago 🇺🇸||344||1,128||1969|
|Burj Al Arab||Dubai 🇦🇪||321||1,053||1999|
|Chrysler Building||New York City 🇺🇸||319||1,046||1930|
|Bank of America Plaza||Atlanta 🇺🇸||312||1,023||1992|
|U.S. Bank Tower||Los Angeles 🇺🇸||310||1,018||1990|
|The Franklin - North Tower||Chicago 🇺🇸||307||1,007||1989|
|JPMorgan Chase Tower||Houston 🇺🇸||305||1,002||1982|
|Baiyoke Tower II||Bangkok 🇹🇭||304||997||1997|
|Two Prudential Plaza||Chicago 🇺🇸||303||995||1990|
|Wells Fargo Plaza||Houston 🇺🇸||302||992||1983|
With the exception of the original World Trade Center towers in New York, all these iconic structures are still standing. Of course, there is now a much bigger cohort of skyscrapers sharing the skyline with them today.
20 Years of Supertall Skyscraper Construction
In the 21st century, at least one supertall skyscraper has been completed every year. In 2019 alone, the world built more of these incredible structures than the total that existed in 1999.
Here are the 20 tallest skyscrapers completed in the past 20 years:
|Building Name||City||Height (m)||Height (ft)||Completion|
|Burj Khalifa||Dubai 🇦🇪||828||2,717||2010|
|Shanghai Tower||Shanghai 🇨🇳||632||2,073||2015|
|Makkah Royal Clock Tower||Mecca 🇸🇦||601||1,972||2012|
|Ping An Finance Center||Shenzhen 🇨🇳||599||1,965||2017|
|Lotte World Tower||Seoul 🇰🇷||555||1,819||2017|
|One World Trade Center||New York City 🇺🇸||541||1,776||2014|
|Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre||Guangzhou 🇨🇳||530||1,739||2016|
|Tianjin CTF Finance Centre||Tianjin 🇨🇳||530||1,739||2019|
|CITIC Tower||Beijing 🇨🇳||528||1,731||2018|
|TAIPEI 101||Taipei 🇹🇼||508||1,667||2004|
|Shanghai World Financial Center||Shanghai 🇨🇳||492||1,614||2008|
|International Commerce Centre||Hong Kong 🇭🇰||484||1,588||2010|
|Lakhta Center||St. Petersburg 🇷🇺||462||1,516||2019|
|Vincom Landmark 81||Ho Chi Minh City 🇻🇳||461||1,513||2018|
|Changsha IFS Tower T1||Changsha 🇨🇳||452||1,483||2018|
|Suzhou IFS||Suzhou 🇨🇳||450||1,476||2019|
|Zifeng Tower||Nanjing 🇨🇳||450||1,476||2010|
|The Exchange 106||Kuala Lumpur 🇲🇾||445||1,460||2019|
|Guangzhou International Finance Center||Guangzhou 🇨🇳||439||1,439||2010|
With activity that reflects the country’s meteoric economic rise, China is an obvious point of focus in the skyscraper conversation. The world’s most populous nation been on a remarkable building tear in recent years, with activity spread throughout the country. No fewer than 30 Chinese cities added supertall skyscrapers to their skylines in the past two decades.
Vertical construction in the United States has been primarily focused in one of the original skyscraper hubs, New York City. In the long, storied history of skyscraper construction in New York City, it’s interesting to note that 8 of its 10 tallest buildings were built in the past 15 years.
Of course, no conversation about skyscrapers is complete without mentioning Dubai. No city on Earth can match the sheer magnitude of supertall skyscraper construction there—a remarkable feat considering the UAE’s size compared to the other two leaders, China and the United States. Over that past 20 years, Dubai added 23 supertall skyscrapers to its skyline, including four that are taller than the Empire State Building. Remarkably, there are another ten buildings under construction today that surpass the 300 meter mark.
What the Future Holds
The process from conceiving to completing supertall skyscrapers can take many years—especially as these ambitious structures reach higher into the sky. For example, the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen was first proposed in 2008, but not completed until 2017.
This multi-year process means that the pipeline of upcoming skyscrapers is very predictable. According to CTBUH, there are currently 132 supertall skyscrapers in various phases of construction around the world right now. That’s more than five times the number of existing supertall structures that existed at the dawn of the new millennium. This includes the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which will be the first skyscraper to hit the one kilometer mark – shattering the record height set by the Burj Khalifa.
Over the next 20 years, as economic fortunes shift and architectural innovations advance, it remains to be seen what heights future skyscrapers will reach.
Visualized: The Most Googled Countries
This series of visualizations uses Google trends search data to show the most googled countries around the world, from 2004 to 2022.
Visualized: The Most Googled Countries, Worldwide
View a higher resolution version of this network diagram.
Analyzing societal trends can teach us a lot about a population’s cultural fabric.
And since Google makes up more than 90% of internet searches outside of the Great Firewall, studying its usage is one of the best resources for modern social research.
This series of visualizations by Anders Sundell uses Google Trends search data to show the most googled countries around the world, from 2004 to 2022. These graphics provide thought-provoking insight into different cultural similarities and geopolitical dynamics.
A Quick Note on Methodology
The visualization above shows the most googled country in each nation around the world over the last couple of decades.
For example, the arrow pointing from Canada to the United States means that, between 2004 and 2022, people in Canada had more searches about the U.S. than any other country globally.
And since this study only looked at interest in other countries, queries of countries searching for themselves were not included in the data.
Finally, each country’s circle is scaled relative to its search interest, meaning the bigger the circle, the more countries pointing to it (and searching for it).
The Top Googled Countries Overall
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S. is the most googled country on the list, ranking first place in 45 of the 190 countries included in the dataset.
|Country||Top Googled Country|
|🇦🇩 Andorra||🇪🇸 Spain|
|🇦🇪 The United Arab Emirates||🇮🇳 India|
|🇦🇫 Afghanistan||🇮🇷 Iran|
|🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇦🇱 Albania||🇮🇹 Italy|
|🇦🇲 Armenia||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇦🇴 Angola||🇧🇷 Brazil|
|🇦🇷 Argentina||🇪🇸 Spain|
|🇦🇹 Austria||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇦🇺 Australia||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇦🇿 Azerbaijan||🇹🇷 Turkey|
|🏴 Bosnia and Herzegovina||🇷🇴 Romania|
|🇧🇧 Barbados||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇧🇩 Bangladesh||🇮🇳 India|
|🇧🇪 Belgium||🇫🇷 France|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||🇫🇷 France|
|🇧🇬 Bulgaria||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇧🇭 Bahrain||🇮🇳 India|
|🇧🇮 Burundi||🇫🇷 France|
|🇧🇯 Benin||🇫🇷 France|
|🇧🇳 Brunei||🇲🇾 Malaysia|
|🇧🇴 Bolivia||🇦🇷 Argentina|
|🇧🇷 Brazil||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇧🇸 The Bahamas||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇧🇹 Bhutan||🇮🇳 India|
|🇧🇼 Botswana||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|🇧🇾 Belarus||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇧🇿 Belize||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇨🇦 Canada||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇨🇩 The Democratic Republic of Congo||🇫🇷 France|
|🇨🇫 The Central African Republic||🇫🇷 France|
|🇨🇬 The Congo||🇨🇩 The Democratic Republic of Congo|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇨🇮 Côte d'Ivoire||🇫🇷 France|
|🇨🇱 Chile||🇦🇷 Argentina|
|🇨🇲 Cameroon||🇫🇷 France|
|🇨🇳 China||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇨🇴 Colombia||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇨🇺 Cuba||🇪🇸 Spain|
|🇨🇻 Cabo Verde||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇨🇾 Cyprus||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇨🇿 Czechia||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇩🇪 Germany||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇩🇯 Djibouti||🇫🇷 France|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇩🇲 Dominica||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇩🇴 The Dominican Republic||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇩🇿 Algeria||🇫🇷 France|
|🇪🇨 Ecuador||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇪🇪 Estonia||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇪🇬 Egypt||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia|
|🇪🇷 Eritrea||🇪🇹 Ethiopia|
|🇪🇸 Spain||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇪🇹 Ethiopia||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇫🇮 Finland||🇸🇪 Sweden|
|🇫🇯 Fiji||🇦🇺 Australia|
|🇫🇲 Micronesia||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇫🇷 France||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇬🇦 Gabon||🇫🇷 France|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇬🇩 Grenada||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇬🇪 Georgia||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇬🇭 Ghana||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇬🇲 Gambia||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇬🇳 Guinea||🇫🇷 France|
|🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea||🇪🇸 Spain|
|🇬🇷 Greece||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇬🇹 Guatemala||🇸🇻 El Salvador|
|🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau||🇵🇹 Portugal|
|🇬🇾 Guyana||🇮🇳 India|
|🇭🇳 Honduras||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇭🇷 Croatia||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇭🇹 Haiti||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇭🇺 Hungary||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇮🇩 Indonesia||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇮🇱 Israel||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇮🇳 India||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇮🇶 Iraq||🇹🇷 Turkey|
|🇮🇷 Iran||🇹🇷 Turkey|
|🇮🇸 Iceland||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇮🇹 Italy||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇯🇲 Jamaica||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇯🇴 Jordan||🇪🇬 Egypt|
|🇯🇵 Japan||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇰🇪 Kenya||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇰🇭 Cambodia||🇹🇭 Thailand|
|🇰🇮 Kiribati||🇫🇯 Fiji|
|🇰🇲 Comoros||🇫🇷 France|
|🇰🇳 Saint Kitts and Nevis||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇰🇵 North Korea||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇰🇼 Kuwait||🇮🇳 India|
|🇰🇿 Kazakhstan||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇱🇦 Laos||🇹🇭 Thailand|
|🇱🇧 Lebanon||🇸🇾 Syria|
|🇱🇨 Saint Lucia||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇱🇮 Liechtenstein||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|🇱🇰 Sri Lanka||🇮🇳 India|
|🇱🇷 Liberia||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇱🇸 Lesotho||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|🇱🇹 Lithuania||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||🇫🇷 France|
|🇱🇻 Latvia||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇱🇾 Libya||🇪🇬 Egypt|
|🇲🇦 Morocco||🇫🇷 France|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||🇫🇷 France|
|🇲🇩 Moldova||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇲🇪 Montenegro||🇷🇸 Serbia|
|🇲🇬 Madagascar||🇫🇷 France|
|🇲🇰 Republic of North Macedonia||🇷🇸 Serbia|
|🇲🇱 Mali||🇫🇷 France|
|🇲🇲 Myanmar||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇲🇳 Mongolia||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇲🇷 Mauritania||🇫🇷 France|
|🇲🇹 Malta||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇲🇺 Mauritius||🇮🇳 India|
|🇲🇻 Maldives||🇮🇳 India|
|🇲🇼 Malawi||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|🇲🇽 Mexico||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇲🇾 Malaysia||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇲🇿 Mozambique||🇧🇷 Brazil|
|🇳🇪 The Niger||🇫🇷 France|
|🇳🇬 Nigeria||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇳🇮 Nicaragua||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇳🇴 Norway||🇸🇪 Sweden|
|🇳🇵 Nepal||🇮🇳 India|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||🇦🇺 Australia|
|🇴🇲 Oman||🇮🇳 India|
|🇵🇦 Panama||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇵🇪 Peru||🇪🇸 Spain|
|🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea||🇦🇺 Australia|
|🇵🇭 The Philippines||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇵🇰 Pakistan||🇮🇳 India|
|🇵🇱 Poland||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇵🇸 Palestine||🇮🇱 Israel|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||🇧🇷 Brazil|
|🇵🇾 Paraguay||🇦🇷 Argentina|
|🇶🇦 Qatar||🇮🇳 India|
|🇷🇴 Romania||🇮🇹 Italy|
|🇷🇸 Serbia||🇽🇰 Kosovo|
|🇷🇺 Russia||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇷🇼 Rwanda||🇺🇬 Uganda|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||🇪🇬 Egypt|
|🇸🇧 Solomon Islands||🇦🇺 Australia|
|🇸🇨 Seychelles||🇮🇳 India|
|🇸🇩 Sudan||🇪🇬 Egypt|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇸🇮 Slovenia||🇭🇷 Croatia|
|🇸🇰 Slovakia||🇨🇿 Czechia|
|🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||🇬🇳 Guinea|
|🇸🇲 San Marino||🇮🇹 Italy|
|🇸🇳 Senegal||🇫🇷 France|
|🇸🇴 Somalia||🇮🇳 India|
|🇸🇷 Suriname||🇳🇱 The Netherlands|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe||🇵🇹 Portugal|
|🇸🇻 El Salvador||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇸🇾 Syria||🇱🇧 Lebanon|
|🇸🇿 Eswatini||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|🇹🇩 Chad||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇹🇬 Togo||🇫🇷 France|
|🇹🇭 Thailand||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇹🇯 Tajikistan||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇹🇱 Timor-Leste||🇸🇬 Singapore|
|🇹🇲 Turkmenistan||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇹🇳 Tunisia||🇫🇷 France|
|🇹🇴 Tonga||🇳🇿 New Zealand|
|🇹🇷 Turkey||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇹🇼 Taiwan||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇹🇿 Tanzania||🇰🇪 Kenya|
|🇺🇦 Ukraine||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇺🇬 Uganda||🇺🇸 The United States|
|🇺🇸 The United States||🇲🇽 Mexico|
|🇺🇾 Uruguay||🇦🇷 Argentina|
|🇺🇿 Uzbekistan||🇷🇺 Russia|
|🇻🇨 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||🇧🇧 Barbados|
|🇻🇪 Venezuela||🇨🇴 Colombia|
|🇻🇳 Vietnam||🇯🇵 Japan|
|🇻🇺 Vanuatu||🇦🇺 Australia|
|🇽🇰 Kosovo||🇦🇱 Albania|
|🇾🇪 Yemen||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇿🇲 Zambia||🇿🇦 South Africa|
|🇿🇼 Zimbabwe||🇿🇦 South Africa|
While it’s the top googled country in neighboring places like Canada and Mexico, it’s also number one in countries much farther away like Nigeria, Sweden, and Australia.
The U.S. is currently the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP, and one of the biggest cultural influences globally. However, it’s worth noting that China, the world’s second-largest economy and the most populated, had very little search interest in comparison, at least based on Google Trends data.
Zooming into Specific Regions
In addition to the network map highlighting the overall top googled countries, Sundell created a series of videos breaking down the data monthly, by regions. Here are the videos for the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
The United States
Since 2004, there have been a high number of searches for Canada, Mexico and India in America.
The searches for Mexico seem to be concentrated in the Western U.S., which is also where a large portion of the country’s Hispanic population lives. In contrast, searches for India seem to come mostly from the eastern side of the country.
The U.S. is by the far the most commonly googled country across Europe, ranking number one consistently over the last two decades.
However, Russia stole the limelight in 2014, the year that they invaded and ultimately annexed Crimea.
In the early 2000s, the U.S. held the top googled spot in Asia, but over time, relative searches for the U.S. go down. India stole the top spot to become the most googled country in Asia for a majority of the 2010s.
One anomaly occurred when Japan briefly took the top spot in March 2011, which is when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit the northern coast of Japan, causing a devastating tsunami.
What will future search results reveal about the global landscape? Were any of the results surprising?
Which Countries Trust Their Government, and Which Ones Don’t?
There is a clear correlation between trust in government and trust in public institutions, but a few countries buck the trend.
Which Countries Trust Their Government, and Which Ones Don’t?
In many countries around the world, vast portions of the population do not trust their own government.
Lack of faith in government and politics is nothing new, but in times of uncertainty, that lack of trust can coalesce into movements that challenge the authority of ruling parties and even threaten the stability of nations.
This visualization uses data from the Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor to look at how much various populations trust their government and public institutions.
Tracking Trust in Government
Since the beginning of the pandemic, global trust in government has improved by eight percentage points, but that is only a small improvement on an otherwise low score.
At the country level, feelings towards government can vary widely. India, Germany, Netherlands, and Malaysia had the highest government trust levels.
Many of the countries with the lowest levels of trust were located in Latin America. This makes sense, as trust in politicians in this region is almost non-existent. For example, in Colombia, only 4% of the population consider politicians trustworthy. In Argentina, that figure falls to just 3%.
Trust in Public Institutions
Broadly speaking, people trust their public services more than the governments in charge of managing and funding them. This makes sense as civil servants fare much better than politicians and government ministers in trustworthiness.
As our main chart demonstrates, there is a correlation between faith in government and trust in public institutions. There are clear “high trust” and “low trust” groupings in the countries included in the polling, but there is also a third group that stands out—the countries that have high trust in public institutions, but not in their government. Leading this group is Japan, which has a stark difference in trust between public services and politicians. There are many factors that explain this difference, such as values, corruption levels, and the reliability of public services in various countries.
While trust scores for government improved slightly during the pandemic, trust in public institutions stayed nearly the same.
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