Animated "Income Mountains" for the world's continents, 1950-2015

Originally published at:


This doesn’t illustrate the data, it obfuscates. We can see the mountains squirm, but it would take some real headscratching to figure out what, if anything, it all means.


Yeah, “stacked” plots like that are a terrible idea 100% of the time. The curves should be superimposed, or expressed as fractions at each income level


We’re in luck. The creator, responding to comments in the original link, provided just such a version here:

I’ve watched the damn thing over and over and there’s a lot to be digested in it. I think the biggest question I have is what happened to Europe Starting about 1990 - there’s a substantial flattening of their curve, pushing people away from the peak in both directions. This would be just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, so I can at least posit that it has to do with mainstreaming of the eastern-bloc economies but I can’t fully develop the connection in my mind. Thoughts?

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