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China has had an unsurprising economic century, churning out billionaires, slashing poverty and seeking to dominate ever-more industries of the future. But how about Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Ethiopia, all of which have had their own unsung, dynamic spurts since 2000?

At a time of serious challenge to globalization and open trade, the leading economic policies of the last quarter century, we took a look at how all the global economies are performing. In the chart below, we highlight some notable cases, with an eye toward the future of the global economy.

How to read it: Each line represents the change in a country's GDP since 2000. The thickness of the line depicts the size of the economy. We used a log scale in the vertical axis to help compare countries that merely doubled their GDP versus those that grew by nearly 13 times (looking at you, Angola).

Expand chart
Data: World Bank; Note: Includes 74 countries, excluding those with a 2016 GDP below $50b and those with missing data.
  • Japan: Powered by booming automotive and electronics industries, Japan has been nonetheless hampered by stagnation, and now population decline. The Japanese population has dropped every year since 2010, and is on track to shrink by a third within the next 50 years.
  • Sudan: An upward economic trend belies a turbulent century, notably the breakup of the country and civil war in Darfur. In 2011, South Sudan made off with enough oil to wipe out more than half of the Khartoum government's revenue and almost all its exports. With much of Sudan's oil capacity now beyond its borders, it must adapt to a future focused on agriculture and livestock.
  • Russia: The 'Recent Slumps' group includes 3 of the 5 BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia and South Africa), the group that, in the 2000s, was thought to represent the dynamic forefront of the global economy. Russia especially fell out of the group in all but name. A combination of tax reform and high oil and natural gas prices helped its economy soar through most of the 2000s. But the 2008 financial crisis hit Russia hard, and it has yet to truly recover. President Vladimir Putin has held the economy in place by allowing the ruble to float, but Russia continues to be dogged by low oil prices and economic sanctions following the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
  • Argentina opened the millennium in the middle of a depression that saw its economy shrink faster than any other country on the chart. It contracted more than a quarter between 1998 and 2002. Argentina pulled itself out of the funk in the mid-2000s, thanks to investments in health, social programs and education. But in recent years, it has been plagued with corruption scandals, a lag in productivity, and stagflation.

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull — Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies— Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker

Highlights from Biden's marathon 2-hour press conference

President Biden answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 19. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden Wednesday marked the end of his first year in office with a marathon press conference from the White House East Room, during which he defended his record in office and made headlines on several fronts.

Why it matters: It was only Biden's second solo presser while in office. The president said he would support splitting his flagship budget bill, the Build Back Better Act, to pass it in increments. He also called on the Federal Reserve to do more against inflation, and predicted that Russia will invade Ukraine.

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.