Put down your turkey leftovers and the rum-infused eggnog – it’s time to recap our favorite posts on Visual Capitalist from 2015.
The following list includes a mix of infographics, data visualizations, and charts. Some of the posts listed here were among the most popular graphics on the entire site. Others that made the list are graphics that are diamonds in the rough.
If you are new to the site, it also may be worth checking out last year’s edition of this post that covered the best content from 2014.
Without further ado…
15. By this measure, the U.S. has the 2nd highest national debt
In this data visualization, however, we showed that the world looks very different using a debt-to-revenue ratio instead. We visualize the national debt as compared to the amount of tax revenue coming into the central government’s coffers, which is arguably a better way to look at a country’s capacity to pay.
14. The Cybersecurity Boom
Over recent years, the world has been under siege from cyberattacks. Blue chip companies like J.P. Morgan Chase, Target, and Sony were hacked, and even the U.S. government was compromised with over 20 million records stolen. Cybersecurity companies are here to help us fight back, and that’s what makes the industry interesting for investors.
The market in cybersecurity is expected to be worth more than $170 billion by 2020.
13. Mapping Every Power Plant in the United States
Every wonder how much power in the United States is generated by solar in comparison to nuclear plants? This post is for you.
In this data visualization, every power plant in the country is mapped and quantified. The end result is a crystal clear picture of how electricity is really generated.
12. The Jade series
Did you know that China’s cultural affinity for jade has existed for longer than Western civilization?
This highly illustrative three-part series examines this as well as the emerging nephrite jade market in British Columbia.
11. The U.S. Debt Ceiling Has Risen No Matter Who is in Office
Around October, U.S. lawmakers reached an impasse on raising the debt ceiling. Republicans wanted to play hardball by linking a ceiling increase to conservative issues, but our chart shows that this kind of brinkmanship may have been inauthentic to start with.
The reality is clear: the debt ceiling has risen no matter who is in office.
10. The Race for Arctic Domination
There’s a new “cold war”, but this time it is in the freezing Arctic. Over recent decades, ice has thawed in the Arctic and 2008 became the first year that both the Northeast Passage (North of Russia) and the Northwest Passage (North of Canada) were open to ships simultaneously.
This means it may be the first time that a vessel could theoretically circumnavigate the North Pole in 125,000 years. Not surprisingly, countries such as Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and the United States have taken notice and are posturing accordingly.
9. Millennials on Investing, Debt, and Banking
Polls show that 65% of millennials feel confident about their finances. This is higher than all other generations.
The problem? Their actual knowledge about investing, debt, and banking is questionable at best.
8. Most Americans Reached Peak Income More than 15 Years Ago
The majority of Americans are worse off than they were 15 years ago. That’s because Census data shows that 1,623 counties reached their highest income in 1999.
Even further, there are 782 counties that have their best days way behind them. Their incomes peaked 35 or more years ago.
7. Order From Chaos: How Big Data Will Change the World
We’ve all heard about “Big Data”, but what is it really? This infographic explains everything you need to know behind this new reality for business, and its implications for companies and investors.
6. Canada’s has the Most Overvalued Housing Market in the World
The Economist has determined that Canada’s property market is the most overvalued in the world in terms of rent prices (+89%), and the third most overvalued in terms of incomes (+35%).
In the post, we go over some of the arguments for and against Canada’s frothy market.
5. China Consumes Mind-Boggling Amounts of Raw Materials
The 1.4 billion people living in China account for 13% of global GDP, but this chart shows that for commodity producers, the country means so much more. China consumes upwards of half of the world’s cement, aluminum, and nickel, along with huge amounts of other base metals, energy commodities, precious metals, and food.
4. $60 Trillion of World Debt in One Visualization
Two weeks before this post, we had published a chart showing the world economy in one visualization. In the corresponding comments section, a user asked us if we could put together a similar visualization but instead looking at world debt.
This visualization on national debt was the end result, and it ended up making the front page of Reddit, as well as being posted on Business Insider, The Huffington Post, The World Economic Forum, Zero Hedge, Daily Reckoning,
3. The Industrial Internet and How It’s Revolutionizing Mining
The industrial internet is the convergence of the global industrial sector with the internet of things. In this infographic we show how this new technology will change how the mining sector works.
2. Powering New York
In this slideshow, we visualize what it takes to power NYC with every type of energy including gas, wind, solar, nuclear, and more.
1. All the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization
In the data visualization, we compare the world’s money and markets to help give perspective to global money supply.
The final result was one of our most viewed infographics of all time, receiving over 1,000,000 views in just a matter of weeks. It was featured on Marketwatch, Business Insider, Zero Hedge, Morningstar, as well as making the front page of Reddit.
What was your favorite post of the year? What would you like to see more of? Feel free to sound off in the comments section.
Our Top Infographics of 2019
A countdown of our top infographics from 2019, including some of our most viewed graphics and other hand-picked entries from our staff.
This year, we published more than 300 posts on Visual Capitalist, getting well over 30 million views along the way.
Many of these graphics are visually stunning, but there’s only room for 19 posts on the annual list of our best work. Below, you’ll find the Top Infographics of 2019 list, which contains our most popular infographics, as well as a curation of staff favorites for the year.
New this year is our “Viewer’s Choice” award, which is given to the best visualization, as chosen by our loyal VC+ readership.
Below are the top posts of 2019. But first, a few quick notes:
- Images below are small preview images for each large infographic and article.
- To view any post in full, click the image or link in the text. All links open in a new tab.
- At the very end of the list, you can find our “Viewer’s Choice” award winner.
Wishing you the best in the new year!
– The Visual Capitalist Team
Our Top Infographics of 2019
Let the countdown begin…
19. How Does Your Personality Type Affect Your Income?
When it comes to making money, not all personality types play on an even playing field.
This recent post breaks down Myers-Briggs personality types by average earning potential, including the specific facets that tend to correlate positively with money over the long term.
18. The 20 Internet Giants That Rule the Web
Digital media moves at a breakneck pace — and with almost no barriers to entry, it’s no surprise to see the pecking order turn over every other year.
Even so, it’s easy to forget that names like GeoCities, Lycos, and Ask Jeeves once dominated the internet landscape as we knew it. Our infographic from earlier this year balances the technological pace of change with nostalgia, to show how the web has changed over recent decades.
17. Where the World’s Banks Make the Most Money
In 2018, the global banking industry raked in $1.3 trillion in after-tax profit.
In this infographic, we looked at where the money is in banking — as well as the upcoming geographic regions and segments that will fuel the future of banking.
16. A History of Revolution in U.S. Taxation
The American Revolution was born out of colonial dissent towards unfair taxation policies.
For this reason, it’s no surprise that the evolution of U.S. taxation itself has been inextricably linked to contentious debate and even moments of rebellion. Our infographic on the history of U.S. taxation helps paint a picture of this story.
15. The History of Esports
Esports is already filling stadiums — and soon it could be lining investors’ pockets as well.
Our recent infographic breaks down the history of this soon-to-be multi-billion dollar industry, while also showing you the five factors that will determine the pace of future growth in esports.
14. The Game of Life: Visualizing China’s Social Credit System
Imagine a world where over a billion citizens are scored on how “good” they are, based on a set of criteria put forward by the government.
What could possibly go wrong?
13. Visualizing Corruption Around the World
Which countries are the most corrupt?
This colorful map breaks down the Corruptions Perception Index — an attempted measure of the perceived level of public sector corruption in over 180 countries.
12. The Race to Invest in the Space Economy
For decades, the space economy has been driven solely by government spending.
Of course, the government still plays an important role in the sector today, but the final frontier is also seemingly open for private business and sustained investment. In the near future, space tourism, resource extraction, and other segments could make space a trillion dollar industry.
11. Mapped: The World’s Biggest Oil Discoveries Since 1868
Historically, oil and gas discoveries have been an unparalleled source of wealth for many countries around the world.
This recent post maps out the biggest oil discoveries ever made, while also highlighting the flipside to the story: in a global economy where dependency on fossil fuels is expected to diminish, is any new discovery a blessing or a curse?
10. Walmart Nation: Mapping America’s Biggest Employers
Which company or organization is the largest employer in every state?
This animated map focuses in on employment statistics — but really, it gives perspective of the dominance of Walmart, the nation’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer and private employer.
9. Mapped: The Countries With the Highest Housing Bubble Risks
This series of maps highlights several metrics that are used to evaluate housing markets, including the price-to-rent ratio, price-to-income ratio, real house prices, and credit to households as a percentage of GDP.
See which countries have ratios out of whack, and what it could mean for housing markets.
8. All of the World’s Carbon Emissions in One Chart
Only 15 countries account for over 72.2% of global carbon emissions.
See it all visualized — and also see the percentage of fossil fuel emissions that have occurred in your lifetime.
7. Visualizing the Happiest Country on Every Continent
This series of maps provides a look at each individual continent, to identify the happiest (and unhappiest) country in each region.
6. 70 Years of China’s Economic Growth In One Chart
It’s been 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
This nifty graphic timeline contains an impressive amount of history and facts about the country’s prolific rise and economic growth.
5. The Most Hyped Technology of Every Year From 2000-2018
It’s not always easy to tell which new technologies will pan out, and which will fail to live up to society’s expectations.
But hindsight is 20/20 — so in this graphic, we look back at almost 20 years of Gartner’s hype cycle of emerging technologies, to see what amounted from many of the technological breakthroughs that have gained traction over the years.
4. Ranking the Top 100 Websites in the World
In this spectacular data visualization, we resize the world’s top 100 websites according to the amount of traffic they receive.
The end result provides a fascinating snapshot of global web traffic, and the impressive scale of the internet.
3. The Entire History of Tesla in 5 Minutes
What is the origin story behind Tesla, and how did it end up becoming the innovative car company it is today?
We condense the history of Tesla into about five minutes, while also providing an outline of the future vision of Elon Musk.
2. $69 Trillion of World Debt in One Infographic
Did you know that government debt now adds up to $69 trillion globally?
The latest version of our famous world debt graphic breaks down the debt owed by each country as a proportion of world debt, as well as debt to GDP ratios.
1. How Tech Giants Make Their Billions
Tech giants are finding ways to play bigger roles in our digital lives, whether it’s through computers, smartphones, smart devices, or apps.
As names like Facebook, Amazon, and Google have become even more ubiquitous, they’ve also leveraged network effects, scale, and winner-take-most marketplaces to build up powerful businesses as well.
Our #1 pick of 2019 showcases the Big Five Tech Giants and their various revenue streams – which, when combined together, add up to over $802 billion per year.
Viewer’s Choice: The Largest Economies in 2030
Finally, it’s time for our “Viewer’s Choice” award.
We polled our VC+ members last week to get a tally for which visualization this year was their favorite, with this video on the largest projected economies in 2030 taking the cake.
Until next time, have a fantastic holiday season and a happy new year!
Our Top Infographics of 2018
A countdown of our top infographics from the last year, including some of our most viewed graphics as well as other hand-picked entries from our staff.
This year, we published more than 300 posts on Visual Capitalist, getting well over 20 million views along the way.
While all of these posts are driven by powerful visuals and data-driven content, we can only select 18 of them on our hand-picked, annual list of our best work. Below, you’ll find our Top Infographics of 2018 List, which contains some of our most popular infographics, as well as a curation of staff favorites for the year.
Below are the top posts of 2018. But first, a few quick notes:
- Images below are small preview images for each large infographic and article
- To view any post in full, click the image or link in the text. All links open in a new tab.
- At the end, we’ll link to some honorable mentions, as well as the year-end lists for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Wishing you the best in the new year!
– The Visual Capitalist Team
18. The Social Media Universe
This infographic is from another world, showing the vast scope of the social media universe. In particular, the size of the “Zuckerberg Cluster” stands out, as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger dominate the list of apps with more than a billion monthly active users.
17. The World’s Biggest Real Estate Bubbles in 2018
Ever wanted to know which key real estate markets are the closest to popping, and which are potentially undervalued?
These maps and charts show the six major cities currently in “bubble risk” territory, and how they compare to the markets of other important global cities.
16. The Raw Materials that Fuel the Green Revolution
To get off fossil fuels, we’ll need other finite resources such as rare metals and minerals. We show the resources that will power the green revolution in this giant infographic.
15. The Business Value of the Blockchain
While 2018 has been a year to forget for cryptocurrencies, the blockchain is here to stay and will impact a wide variety of industries. This graphic uses data from McKinsey to show the potential business value of the technology.
14. Visualizing 40 Years of Music Industry Sales
This chart that shows the composition of music industry sales was an unexpected blockbuster, but it seems to have captured the hearts and minds of music lovers from around the world.
13. The Relationship Between Money and Happiness
This was one of our more controversial charts of 2018, partially because of an experimental design decision we made.
Instead of aligning the x and y axes in the traditional way, we oriented the chart so that the trend line was horizontal – making it so countries that were “happier” with what they had (GDP per capita) appeared above the line, while countries that were “less satisfied” appeared below.
12. Elon Musk’s Vision for the Future of Tesla
11. Mapped: The World’s Largest Megacities by 2100
Economic growth is anchored in cities – and the world’s urban landscape will shift dramatically as we move towards the end of the 21st century. This powerful animation shows where the world’s biggest megacities will be in 2100.
10. How Different Generations Would Invest $10k
Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials do not think the same way about money. This is partly because they are at different points in their adult lives, but it also has to do with differing attitudes towards wealth and risk.
This nifty visualization charts how these generations would each invest $10,000, and it helps reveal what makes each generation unique.
9. Seven Facts to Free You From Your Fear of Market Crashes
Even when there is extreme volatility occurring in the stock market, this infographic may be the cure to make you a more rational investor. It goes through the math of corrections and bear markets in a simple and straightforward way that can calm the nerves of experts and beginners alike.
8. A World of Languages
There are 4.1 billion people that speak the 23 most common native tongues – and this widely popular infographic breaks down where they are spoken by country.
7. The Extraordinary Power of Compound Interest
According to Albert Einstein, compound interest is the “most powerful force in the universe”.
However, understanding its power is not intuitive to many. That’s why we created this explainer infographic on compound interest as a part of our Wealth 101 channel, which is geared to younger generations.
6. The Multi-Billion Dollar Personal Data Ecosystem
Personal data was a popular and recurring theme throughout the 2018 news cycle.
But how does this ecosystem actually work, and what are the components of personal data in the digital age? This infographic aims to break it all down in an easy and simple way.
5. The Longest Bull Markets of the Modern Era
This chart we published in June became very relevant as markets struggled in late-2018.
It documents the six longest bull markets since World War II, and compares them using several factors such as length, total return, and average annual return. It also shows key events that occurred in each bull market, giving great perspective on how the stock market works over time.
4. The Warren Buffett Empire
Most people know Berkshire Hathaway as the massive conglomerate that serves as the investment vehicle for Warren Buffett’s $83 billion fortune. However, far fewer people know what this giant does, and how it actually makes its money!
This massive infographic attempts to put it all in perspective.
3. This World Map was Drawn Based on Country Populations
There are many routes to creating an insightful data visualization, but one tried-and-true one is to take something familiar (like a map) and to redraw it based on another data set. In this case, this world map is redrawn based on countries’ populations to give us a whole new way to think about human geography.
2. The $80 Trillion World Economy in One Chart
This memorable chart that breaks down global GDP was one of our most shared posts of the year, with 37,000 social shares and 750,000 views.
1. The Forces Shaping the Future of the Global Economy
Powerful, data-driven visuals can really help to tell a story that words alone cannot.
Animation: The World’s 10 Largest Economies by GDP (1960-Today)
This enthralling animation shows the rise and fall of economies over many decades.
The 6 Forces Transforming the Future of Healthcare
Healthcare is a massive industry – and it’s undergoing tremendous change.
24 Cognitive Biases That Are Warping Your Perception of Reality
Think you see things objectively? Check out this list of common cognitive biases that mess with even the best of us.
The 6,000 Year History of Medical Cannabis on One Map
This giant map plots the entire history of medical cannabis through many millennia.
An Illustrated Subway Map of Human Anatomy
Ever wanted to visualize the complexity of the human body? This neat map does the trick.
And lastly, don’t forget to check out our roundups from previous years!
And if you haven’t subscribed to our free mailing list or social feeds, make sure you do so below.
Good luck in 2019!
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