These Chinese Cities have GDPs that Match Those of Entire Countries
Do you know you Hangzhous from your Changzhous?
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Remember that map that compares the GDP of individual U.S. states with entire countries? (If you don't: #864). It provides a stark reminder of the size of the American economy, by many measurements still the biggest in the world. But an equally impressive map can be drawn of China – the world's second-largest and rapidly growing economy.
Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong are the only three names likely to figure on the very short list of Chinese cities that most non-Chinese can name. But, as this map demonstrates, there are quite a few cities more in China with GDPs that measure up to the economies of sizeable independent nations.
Switzerland has about the economic size of Guangzhou. Chile that of Chongqing. And Angola that of Ningbo. Even if those names have a less than familiar ring today, their economic might predicts that we'll hear more of them in the future.
The basis for this map was Chinese regional GDP (PPP) for 2015, in billions of U.S. dollars. In all, 35 cities are mentioned (scroll down for full list). While most people have heard of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong (and some might even be able to pinpoint them on the map), few people will be able to identify cities like Wuxi, Qingdao or Tangshan, despite the fact that they have economies similar to those of Morocco, Hungary and New Zealand, respectively.
#1 Shanghai $810 Philippines
#2 Beijing $664 U.A.E.
#3 Guangzhou $524 Switzerland
#4 Shenzhen $491 Sweden
#5 Tianjin $478 Romania
#6 Suzhou $440 Austria
#7 Chongqing $425 Chile
#8 Hong Kong $414 Peru
#9 Wuhan $324 Israel
#10 Chengdu $306 Norway
#11 Hangzhou $275 Greece
#12 Nanjing $272 Denmark
#13 Wuxi $270 Morocco
#14 Qingdao $266 Hungary
#15 Changsha $246 Sri Lanka
#16 Dalian $245 Finland
#17 Foshan $235 Uzbekistan
#18 Ningbo $233 Angola
#19 Shenyang $230 Sudan
#20 Zhengzhou $210 Ecuador
#21 Tangshan $191 New Zealand
#22 Dongguan $186 Ethiopia
#23 Yantai $184 Belarus
#24 Jinan $174 Azerbaijan
#25 Nantong $170 Slovakia
#26 Changchun $163 Dominican Republic
#27 Xi'an $161 Kenya
#28 Fuzhou $160 Tanzania
#29 Harbin $159 Bulgaria
#30 Hefei $157 Tunisia
#31 Shijiazhuang $156 Guatemala
#32 Xuzhou $150 Ghana
#33 Changzhou $147 Serbia
#34 Wenzhou $131 Croatia
#35 Zibo $123 Panama
If reading that list leaves you somewhat bewildered, it helps to know that many of those high-performing Chinese cities do not exist in isolation; in fact, a lot of names on the above list can be found of this map, of three megaregions clustering on the coast:
Well, at least that'll help us sort out Changzhou (Yangtze River Delta) from Guangzhou (Pearl River Delta) in future.
Strange Maps #867
Got a strange map? Let me know at email@example.com.
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
- How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
- To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.