World’s biggest economies throughout history | The Economist

Time is money: An animated infographic showing the top three economies throughout history. Does China have the world’s largest economy? Is China’s economy bigger than America’s? Time is money—the world’s largest economies throughout history. At the start of the Common Era, India was the world’s largest economy, followed by China. The far-flung Roman Empire came a distant third. A thousand years later, it looked almost the same. But third place shifted to Byzantium, in modern-day Turkey. Five hundred years after that, Italy returned, rich from renaissance trade. Over several centuries, other European powers vied for third: initially France, and then Britain. China and India swapped places. After the industrial revolution, the top three economies accounted for less than half of glob

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