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Visualized: The World’s Busiest Airports, by Passenger Count

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the world's busiest airports by passengers

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Visualized: The World’s Busiest Airports, by Passenger Count

Airports, with their slow-moving queues and bustling gates, can be some of the most crowded, stressful places in the world. Despite the negatives associated with commercial air travel, overall it’s an impressive system, with the biggest air transit hubs recording passenger traffic numbers that rival the populations of large countries.

The infographic above uses data from Airports Council International (ACI) to rank the top 10 busiest airports in the world, looking at total passengers enplaned and deplaned, with passengers in transit counted once.

The Most Bustling Airports in 2022

In 2022, worldwide passenger traffic came near to 7 billion, an increase of almost 54% from 2021, and a 74% recovery from pre-pandemic levels.

Here’s a closer look at the data, alongside the year-over-year increases at each airport:

RankAirportCityPassengers (2022)Change vs. 2021
#1Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)🇺🇸 Atlanta93,699,63024%
#2Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)🇺🇸 Dallas73,362,94618%
#3Denver International Airport (DEN)🇺🇸 Denver69,286,46118%
#4Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)🇺🇸 Chicago68,340,61927%
#5Dubai International Airport (DXB)🇦🇪 Dubai66,069,981127%
#6Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)🇺🇸 Los Angeles65,924,29837%
#7Istanbul Airport (IST)🇹🇷 Istanbul64,289,10774%
#8Heathrow Airport (LHR)🇬🇧 London61,614,508218%
#9Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)🇮🇳 New Delhi59,490,07460%
#10Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)🇫🇷 Paris57,474,033119%

These 10 airports made up 10% of all passenger traffic in the world last year. Half of these airports are in the U.S. and their numbers were largely buoyed by domestic travelers, according to the ACI Director General.

While Atlanta’s airport saw the highest number of passengers at nearly 94 million, London’s Heathrow airport saw passenger traffic grow the most annually by over 217%.

In this dataset, such big percentage increases between 2021 and 2022 are usually linked to the scaling back or full removal of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Travel Industry Looking Ahead

Despite high levels of passenger traffic globally, the travel and tourism industry has actually not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic peaks, but it is getting close. A recent report from the World Travel & Tourism Council found that the industry has recovered to 95% of its market size in 2019.

Jobs also recovered in the industry with 21.6 million workers added in 2022, hitting over 295 million globally and representing one in 11 jobs worldwide. Spending by overseas tourists also hit a record growth rate last year of 82%, totaling out to $1.1 trillion. Overall, the trend is looking positive for those in travel and tourism.

In fact, many popular travel destinations have already had spending exceed 2019 figures, with 34 countries seeing their travel industries return to pre-pandemic levels of contribution to GDP.

“By the end of the year, the sector’s contribution will be within touching distance of the 2019 peak. We expect 2024 to exceed 2019.”– Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO

While conflicts like the war in Ukraine have hindered recovery somewhat, recent moves by countries like China to reopen borders will help bolster growth in the travel and tourism industries.

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Mapped: The Growth in House Prices by Country

Global house prices were resilient in 2022, rising 6%. We compare nominal and real price growth by country as interest rates surged.

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The Growth in House Prices by Country

Mapped: The Growth in House Prices by Country

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Global housing prices rose an average of 6% annually, between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022.

In real terms that take inflation into account, prices actually fell 2% for the first decline in 12 years. Despite a surge in interest rates and mortgage costs, housing markets were noticeably stable. Real prices remain 7% above pre-pandemic levels.

In this graphic, we show the change in residential property prices with data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The Growth in House Prices, Ranked

The following dataset from the BIS covers nominal and real house price growth across 58 countries and regions as of the fourth quarter of 2022:

Price Growth
Rank
Country /
Region
Nominal Year-over-Year
Change (%)
Real Year-over-Year
Change (%)
1🇹🇷 Türkiye167.951.0
2🇷🇸 Serbia23.17.0
3🇷🇺 Russia23.19.7
4🇲🇰 North Macedonia20.61.0
5🇮🇸 Iceland20.39.9
6🇭🇷 Croatia17.33.6
7🇪🇪 Estonia16.9-3.0
8🇮🇱 Israel16.811.0
9🇭🇺 Hungary16.5-5.1
10🇱🇹 Lithuania16.0-5.5
11🇸🇮 Slovenia15.44.2
12🇧🇬 Bulgaria13.4-3.2
13🇬🇷 Greece12.23.7
14🇵🇹 Portugal11.31.3
15🇬🇧 United Kingdom10.0-0.7
16🇸🇰 Slovak Republic9.7-4.8
17
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates
9.62.9
18🇵🇱 Poland9.3-6.9
19🇱🇻 Latvia9.1-10.2
20🇸🇬 Singapore8.61.9
21🇮🇪 Ireland8.6-0.2
22🇨🇱 Chile8.2-3.0
23🇯🇵 Japan7.93.9
24🇲🇽 Mexico7.9-0.1
25🇵🇭 Philippines7.7-0.2
26🇺🇸 United States7.10.0
27🇨🇿 Czechia6.9-7.6
28🇷🇴 Romania6.7-7.5
29🇲🇹 Malta6.3-0.7
30🇨🇾 Cyprus6.3-2.9
31🇨🇴 Colombia6.3-5.6
32🇱🇺 Luxembourg5.6-0.5
33🇪🇸 Spain5.5-1.1
34🇨🇭 Switzerland5.42.4
35🇳🇱 Netherlands5.4-5.3
36🇦🇹 Austria5.2-4.8
37🇫🇷 France4.8-1.2
38🇧🇪 Belgium4.7-5.7
39🇹🇭 Thailand4.7-1.1
40🇿🇦 South Africa3.1-4.0
41🇮🇳 India2.8-3.1
42🇮🇹 Italy2.8-8.0
43🇳🇴 Norway2.6-3.8
44🇮🇩 Indonesia2.0-3.4
45🇵🇪 Peru1.5-6.3
46🇲🇾 Malaysia1.2-2.6
47🇰🇷 South Korea-0.1-5.0
48🇲🇦 Morocco-0.1-7.7
49🇧🇷 Brazil-0.1-5.8
50🇫🇮 Finland-2.3-10.2
51🇩🇰 Denmark-2.4-10.6
52🇦🇺 Australia-3.2-10.2
53🇩🇪 Germany-3.6-12.1
54🇸🇪 Sweden-3.7-13.7
55🇨🇳 China-3.7-5.4
56🇨🇦 Canada-3.8-9.8
57🇳🇿 New Zealand-10.4-16.5
58🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR-13.5-15.1

Türkiye’s property prices jumped the highest globally, at nearly 168% amid soaring inflation.

Real estate demand has increased alongside declining interest rates. The government drastically cut interest rates from 19% in late 2021 to 8.5% to support a weakening economy.

Many European countries saw some of the highest price growth in nominal terms. A strong labor market and low interest rates pushed up prices, even as mortgage rates broadly doubled across the continent. For real price growth, most countries were in negative territory—notably Sweden, Germany, and Denmark.

Nominal U.S. housing prices grew just over 7%, while real price growth halted to 0%. Prices have remained elevated given the stubbornly low supply of inventory. In fact, residential prices remain 45% above pre-pandemic levels.

How Do Interest Rates Impact Property Markets?

Global house prices boomed during the pandemic as central banks cut interest rates to prop up economies.

Now, rates have returned to levels last seen before the Global Financial Crisis. On average, rates have increased four percentage points in many major economies. Roughly three-quarters of the countries in the BIS dataset witnessed negative year-over-year real house price growth as of the fourth quarter of 2022.

Interest rates have a large impact on property prices. Cross-country evidence shows that for every one percentage point increase in real interest rates, the growth rate of housing prices tends to fall by about two percentage points.

When Will Housing Prices Fall?

The rise in U.S. interest rates has been counteracted by homeowners being reluctant to sell so they can keep their low mortgage rates. As a result, it is keeping inventory low and prices high. Homeowners can’t sell and keep their low mortgage rates unless they meet strict conditions on a new property.

Additionally, several other factors impact price dynamics. Construction costs, income growth, labor shortages, and population growth all play a role.

With a strong labor market continuing through 2023, stable incomes may help stave off prices from falling. On the other hand, buyers with floating-rate mortgages face steeper costs and may be unable to afford new rates. This could increase housing supply in the market, potentially leading to lower prices.

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