Back in the 1500s, economic power was held by a majority of European nations leaded by Italy. China ranked number 23, India 53, and Japan 61. North America’s wealth was negligible compared to Europe’s, but the African region enjoyed more wealth than they do today.
A forecast for the year 2015 places Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore at the top in GDP per capita. Some European nations are still wealthy, such is the case of Malta, Luxembourg, Norway, and Ireland, but Italy is not in the lead anymore. Japan’s wealth per capita has increased, and so has the United States’, but the wealth of African countries has become the lowest worldwide.