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Wealth Year 1500

Map No. 160

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In the year 1500 European territories were some of the wealthiest on earth, when measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person.

The regions with the largest total GDPs were Eastern Asia and Southern Asia. These were also the most populous regions at that time.

The regions with the lowest GDP in 1500 were Central Africa and Southeastern Africa. These regions also had the lowest GDP per person. In 2002 these regions enjoyed an even smaller proportion of the world total GDP expressed in purchasing power parity dollars than they did in 1500.

"Slaves captured in raids and war grew in importance as a commodity ... Kola nuts ... were also important, as were the dyestuffs of northern Nigeria. All these goods were highly prized in and around the Mediterranean basin." Richard Effland, 2003

Territory size shows the proportion of worldwide Gross Domestic Product equalised in US$ in purchasing power parity that was produced there in 1500.

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