My wife and I were clearing out a few old issues of The Economist a couple of days ago, and came across this fabulous map:
In short, the US is still absolutely enormous.
But this led me to wonder what a similar map would like like for Europe - after all, a good number of the top twenty economies in the world lie between Dingle and Burgas. And so, with perhaps a little bit less finesse than The Economist, is what I came up with... (using 2010 figures from the CIA Factbook)
But some of these matches are hardly exact - especially Germany = Russia. Germany's figure was $2591 billion; Russia's was $2229 billion. So what about trying to work it out more exactly? The results are messy, but here's what I came up with...
So, to put it simply: the EU matters because it is still the largest market in the world (the US + Qatar + Bolivia combined). And if you ever wondered how big the Spanish economy was - here's your answer: it's the same as Turkey and Malaysia combined.
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