The Rise Of China In 16 Charts

China’s rise to global prominence is one of the most compelling narratives of our time.  In the last 30 years we have seen the greatest sustained reduction in poverty in human history.  Hundreds of millions of Chinese have moved from an impoverished rural existence to a increasingly prosperous and ambitious urban middle class.

There are lots of interesting sub-stories around China’s rise.  Why was China so poor for so long?  What catalyzed its dramatic rise out of poverty?  Where is China today?  How does China’s economy affect the rest of the world?  And what does the future hold?

Recently I pulled a number of datasets from Quandl’s rich collection of China statistics to create simple, data-centric overview of China’s dramatic growth and its ongoing challenges. This slideshow is the result.

For over a thousand years, China was one of the richest countries in the world.

But while the industrial revolution saw many Western European nations embark upon explosive growth...

...China suffered from multiple upheavals...

...Followed by 30 years of ideological Communist rule.

Mao Zedong died and was succeeded by Deng Xiaoping. The one-child policy was created shortly afterward.

Deng also pioneered the de-collectivization of agriculture, which led to increased farm output...

Decreased employment on farms...

And massive urban migration.

Success in agriculture led to privatization in other sectors, especially manufacturing.

And large increases in output.

China became an export powerhouse.

Leading to a dramatic increase in the standard of living.

But China today is not without challenges: inequality...

Demography...

Environment.

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