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Animated Chart: The World’s Top 15 Carbon Emitters (1850-2022)



The World’s Top 15 Carbon Emitters (1850-2022)

Carbon emissions worldwide have shifted over the past centuries. However, what remains consistent is that the biggest economies have been the major emitters since the 19th century.

This chart by James Eagle uses data from Our World in Data to show the 15 largest carbon dioxide (COโ‚‚) emitters between 1850 and 2022.

U.S. the Top Emitter for Over 100 Years

As the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution, the United Kingdom spent most of the 19th century at the top of the carbon emissions ranking.

Rank - 1850Emitter CO2 (million tonnes)
1 ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom122.4
2๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States19.8
3๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France19.6
4๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany15.1
5๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium9.3
6๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland3.2

In 1888, however, the United States surpassed the UK to become the largest emitter of carbon. The American Civil War was over, and the country saw significant infrastructure expansion while focusing on settling the West.

Interestingly, America’s COโ‚‚ emissions back then were small compared to today’s: for example, California’s current emissions are more than the entire country’s in 1888.

Throughout the first five decades of the 20th century, the U.S., UK, and Germany dominated the top of the rankings.

In the 1950s, with the increase in merchant traffic, the shipping sector became one of the major contributors to carbon emissions. During the same period, with the expansion of the Soviet Union, Russia surpassed Germany to become the second-largest carbon emitter. China also rose to occupy the fourth place.

China Tops COโ‚‚ Emissions Since 2006

In the 1990s, China saw carbon emissions soar due to industrial growth, while the Middle East saw them rise due to strong global oil demand.

In 2006, China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest emitter. The aviation sector also became one of the top 15 emitters in the same decade.

Rank - 2022EmitterCO2 (million tonnes)
1๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China11,396.8
2๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States5,057.3
3๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India2,829.6
4๐ŸŒ Middle East2,677.6
5๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia1,652.2
6๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan1,053.8
7๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Iran690.6
8๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany665.6
9๐Ÿšข Shipping624.5
10๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada547.9
11๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico512.0
12โœˆ๏ธ Aviation424.9
13๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy338.1
14๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland323.1
15๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom318.7

Currently, the volume of Chinese carbon emissions is more than double that of the U.S. Historically, however, the U.S. has emitted more COโ‚‚ in cumulative terms.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Charted: Global Wheat Production, by Country

Wheat production is largely diversified around the world, though three major producers emerge: China, India, and Russia.



A cropped chart with the per country breakdown of global wheat production, based on data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO).

Charted: 800 Million Tonnes of Wheat Production by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Global wheat production crossed 800 million tonnes in 2022, which makes it the second-most cultivated grain after corn.

From different kinds of noodles to all the varieties of breads, wheat is a staple crop for a dizzying array of diets across countries. But who grows the most and by how much?

This graphic breaks down the worldโ€™s largest wheat producers in 2022, based on data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO).

Ranked: Global Wheat Producers in 2022

Wheat production is largely diversified around the world, though three major producers emerge: China, India, and Russia. All produce upwards of 100 million tonnes per year.

According to data from the OEC, Russiaโ€™s top export destinations for its wheat are Tรผrkiye (35%) and Egypt (29%).

RankCountryWheat Production
(2022, Tonnes)
1๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China (mainland)138MAsia
2๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India108MAsia
3๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia104MEurope
4๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.45MAmericas
5๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia36MOceania
6๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France35MEurope
7๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada34MAmericas
8๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan26MAsia
9๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany23MEurope
10๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina22MAmericas
11๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine21MEurope
12๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Tรผrkiye20MAsia
13๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Kazakhstan16MAsia
14๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK15MEurope
15๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland13MEurope
N/A๐ŸŒ Rest of World152MOther
N/A๐ŸŒ Total808MWorld

Note: Figures are rounded.

Ukraine (21 million tonnes) is also a key wheat producer (#11) and exporter. Its outbound shipments dropped rapidly after the Russian invasion, sending food prices soaring. The Ukrainian government has since established new export routes that hug the Black Seaโ€™s western coastline, where the waters are too shallow for attacking submarines.

Meanwhile the U.S. is the biggest wheat producer (45 million tonnes) from the Americas, ranked 5th overall. North Dakota, Kansas, Washington are some of the top producers by state.

A quick look at the list of top wheat producing countries reveals a mostly even split between Europe and Asia, two continents with wildly different weather patterns and climates.

Unlike rice, which requires hot, humid weather, wheat is a versatile crop, and grows everywhere (except Antarctica). It has the highest protein percent and the third-highest energy content of all grains. Crucially it does not require a lot of water to grow, helping it thrive in otherwise dry climates.

More From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this article, check out Charted: 776 Million Tonnes of Rice Production by Country for insights into which nations lead the rice producers’ ranks.

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