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This Map Compares the Size of State Economies with Entire Countries



This Map Compares the Size of State Economies with Entire Countries

This Map Compares the Size of State Economies with Entire Countries

The United States is the world’s largest economy, but sometimes it’s easy to forget just how massive a $19 trillion economy actually is.

The only comparable economy in size would be China, but unfortunately the incredible scope of China’s economic boom is something that is also difficult for foreigners to wrap their heads around. We’ve tried to do this in the past by showing you the massive cities that no one knows about, ambitious megaprojects that are underway in the region, and the country’s staggering demand for commodities.

But still, comparing the U.S. to China can be overwhelming – and that’s why it can be more effective to show the U.S. economy as the sum of its parts.

States as Countries

Today’s infographic comes to us from the Carpe Diem blog done by Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute.

It matches the size of U.S. state economies, based on nominal GDP numbers, with comparable countries around the world. For example, the state of Texas ($1.7 trillion) is roughly the equivalent of Canada ($1.65 trillion), while Maine ($61.4 billion) is closer to Panama ($61.8 billion) in terms of economic output.

Here’s the full table – courtesy of Carpe Diem – on how each state breaks down:

U.S. States compared to countries

Sum of the Parts

By looking at the United States in this unique way, we really get a better sense of the scale of the country’s economy as a whole.

Add together just the states of California, Texas, and New York, and you’ve got an economy the size of the United Kingdom, Canada, and South Korea put together. And with each additional state, you’re adding significant economies like Indonesia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, or Singapore to that mix.

Impressively, even the more sparsely populated states have country-sized economies. Montana compares to Uzbekistan, North Dakota is similar to Croatia, and so on.

If you’re interested in seeing other ways to visualize America’s economy, see a previous post using some other Carpe Diem maps here.

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Visualizing the Rise of the U.S. Dollar Since the 19th Century

This animated graphic shows the U.S. dollar, the world’s primary reserve currency, as a share of foreign reserves since 1900.



Visualizing the Rise and Fall) of the U.S. Dollar

Visualizing the Rise of the U.S. Dollar Since the 19th Century

As the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar made up 58.4% of foreign reserves held by central banks in 2022, falling near 25-year lows.

Today, emerging countries are slowly decoupling from the greenback, with foreign reserves shifting to currencies like the Chinese yuan.

At the same time, the steep appreciation of the U.S. dollar is leading countries to sell their U.S. foreign reserves to help prop up their currencies, in turn buying currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars to help generate higher yields.

The above animated graphic from James Eagle shows the rapid ascent of the U.S. dollar over the last century, and its gradual decline in recent years.

Dollar Dominance: A Brief History

In 1944, the U.S. dollar became the world’s reserve currency under the Bretton Woods Agreement. Over the first half of the century, the U.S. ran budget surpluses while increasing trade and economic ties with war-torn countries, expanding its influence as the world’s store of value.

Later through the 1960s, the U.S. dollar share of global foreign reserves rapidly increased as political allies stockpiled the dollar.

By 2000, dollar dominance hit a peak of 71% of global reserves. With the creation of the European Union a year earlier, countries such as China began increasing the share of euros in reserves. Between 2000 and 2005, the share of the dollar in China’s foreign exchange reserves fell by an estimated 15 percentage points.

The dollar began a long rally after the global financial crisis, which drove central banks to cut their dollar reserves to help bolster their currencies.

Fast-forward to today, and dollar reserves have fallen roughly 13 percentage points from their historical peak.

The State of the World’s Reserve Currency

In 2022, 16% of Russia’s export transactions were in yuan, up from almost nothing before the war. Brazil and Argentina have also begun adopting the Chinese currency for trade or reserve purposes. Still, the U.S. dollar makes up 80% of Brazil’s reserves.

Yet while the U.S. dollar has decreased in share of foreign reserves, it still has an immense influence in the world economy.

The majority of trade is invoiced in the U.S. dollar globally, a trend that has stayed fairly consistent over many decades. Between 1999-2019, 74% of trade in Asia was invoiced in dollars and in the Americas, it made up 96% of all invoicing.

Furthermore, almost 90% of foreign exchange transactions involve the U.S. dollar thanks to its liquidity.

However, countries are increasingly finding alternative options than the dollar. Today, Western businesses have begun settling trade with China in renminbi. Looking further ahead, digital currencies could provide options that don’t include the U.S. dollar.

Even more so, if the U.S. share of global GDP continues to shrink, the shift to a multipolar system could progress over this century.

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