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The Five Tallest Glass Skyscrapers, and the Views From Their Tops

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The Five Tallest Glass Skyscrapers, and the Views From Their Tops

The Five Tallest Glass Skyscrapers, and Their Views

Whether it is from a lookout point on the side of the road or a scenic vista from the top of the mountain, everyone can appreciate a good view.

And while nature provides many great opportunities for admiring such scenery, some of the best views are actually from man-made structures. In particular, the world’s tallest glass skyscrapers provide an unparalleled chance to see the surrounding city and landscape from an unobstructed bird’s eye view.

The Five Tallest Glass Skyscrapers

Today’s infographic from Abbey Glass shows us the five tallest glass skyscrapers in the world, as well as the views from the top of these structures.

Four of the five tallest glass skyscrapers are located in Asia, which is not surprising considering that 76.4% of all skyscrapers completed in 2015 were on the Asian continent. It’s also worth noting that all of the skyscrapers on this list are relatively new, with the oldest being built in 2008 – for a more visual representation of this trend, see our post documenting how the world’s tallest buildings have changed over time.

1. Burj Khalifa (Dubai, UAE)

The Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010 in 1,325 days, is an engineering feat. At 828m (2,717 ft) tall, the view from the world’s tallest building makes other “skyscrapers” in the city look microscopic. Despite having 18 built-in maintenance units for cleaning the windows of the Burj Khalifa, it still takes three to four full months to wipe down the exterior of this monstrosity.

2. Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China)

The Shanghai Tower, the tallest skyscraper completed in 2015, stands at 632m (2,073 ft). It’s the world’s second-tallest building, and has been designed as a spiral that twists an average of 1% per floor.

3. One World Trade Center (New York, USA)

The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere is located on the site of the two original World Trade Center towers. Its height in feet (1,776 ft) corresponds with the year the United States achieved independence.

4. Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai, China)

The Shanghai World Financial Center, completed in 2008, is the oldest building on this list. At 492m (1,614 ft) in height, it has been engineered to withstand a magnitude eight earthquake, lightning strikes, or the typhoon-force winds often encountered in the city.

5. International Commerce Center (Hong Kong, China)

The tallest building in Hong Kong is also the fifth-tallest glass skyscraper in the world. At 484m (1,587 ft), it is also home to the world’s highest swimming pool.

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Politics

Charted: The Number of Democracies Globally

How many democracies does the world have? This visual shows the change since 1945 and the top nations becoming more (and less) democratic.

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Charted: The Number of Democracies Globally

The end of World War II in 1945 was a turning point for democracies around the world.

Before this critical turning point in geopolitics, democracies made up only a small number of the world’s countries, both legally and in practice. However, over the course of the next six decades, the number of democratic nations would more than quadruple.

Interestingly, studies have found that this trend has recently reversed as of the 2010s, with democracies and non-democracies now in a deadlock.

In this visualization, Staffan Landin uses data from V-DEM’s Electoral Democratic Index (EDI) to highlight the changing face of global politics over the past two decades and the nations that contributed the most to this change.

The Methodology

V-DEM’s EDI attempts to measure democratic development in a comprehensive way, through the contributions of 3,700 experts from countries around the world.

Instead of relying on each nation’s legally recognized system of government, the EDI analyzes the level of electoral democracy in countries on a range of indicators, including:

  • Free and fair elections
  • Rule of law
  • Alternative sources of information and association
  • Freedom of expression

Countries are assigned a score on a scale from 0 to 1, with higher scores indicating a higher level of democracy. Each is also categorized into four types of functional government, from liberal and electoral democracies to electoral and closed autocracies.

Which Countries Have Declined the Most?

The EDI found that numerous countries around the world saw declines in democracy over the past two decades. Here are the 10 countries that saw the steepest decline in EDI score since 2010:

CountryDemocracy Index (2010)Democracy Index (2022)Points Lost
🇭🇺 Hungary0.800.46-34
🇵🇱 Poland0.890.59-30
🇷🇸 Serbia0.610.34-27
🇹🇷 Türkiye0.550.28-27
🇮🇳 India0.710.44-27
🇲🇱 Mali0.510.25-26
🇹🇭 Thailand0.440.20-24
🇦🇫 Afghanistan0.380.16-22
🇧🇷 Brazil0.880.66-22
🇧🇯 Benin0.640.42-22

Central and Eastern Europe was home to three of the countries seeing the largest declines in democracy. Hungary, Poland, and Serbia lead the table, with Hungary and Serbia in particular dropping below scores of 0.5.

Some of the world’s largest countries by population also decreased significantly, including India and Brazil. Across most of the top 10, the “freedom of expression” indicator was hit particularly hard, with notable increases in media censorship to be found in Afghanistan and Brazil.

Countries Becoming More Democratic

Here are the 10 countries that saw the largest increase in EDI score since 2010:

CountryDemocracy Index (2010)Democracy Index (2022)Points Gained
🇦🇲 Armenia0.340.74+40
🇫🇯 Fiji0.140.40+26
🇬🇲 The Gambia0.250.50+25
🇸🇨 Seychelles0.450.67+22
🇲🇬 Madagascar0.280.48+20
🇹🇳 Tunisia0.400.56+16
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka0.420.57+15
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau0.410.56+15
🇲🇩 Moldova0.590.74+15
🇳🇵 Nepal0.460.59+13

Armenia, Fiji, and Seychelles saw significant improvement in the autonomy of their electoral management bodies in the last 10 years. Partially as a result, both Armenia and Seychelles have seen their scores rise above 0.5.

The Gambia also saw great improvement across many election indicators, including the quality of voter registries, vote buying, and election violence. It was one of five African countries to make the top 10 most improved democracies.

With the total number of democracies and non-democracies almost tied over the past four years, it is hard to predict the political atmosphere in the future.

Want to know more about democracy in today’s world? Check out our global breakdown of each country’s democratic score in Mapped: The State of Global Democracy in 2022.
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