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 global output.
In the 20th century, America dominated. China temporarily fell away. Russia made the top three. As did Japan. Britain dropped down.
Now the modern world resembles the distant past: China and India are back, along with a single Western economy. And America’s preeminence is over.
China overtakes US as the world's largest economy.
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