The number of skyscrapers a city can count is often a marker of how much progress they’ve made; these tall towers point to innovation, technology, ambition and most importantly, they scream “We have money!”—which of course equates to power. For the better part of the 20th century, the United States has accounted for the majority of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, but with the emergence of new economies over the last few decades, there’s been a definitive shift.
One would think with all the supertalls sprouting up in Manhattan that we’d still have top rank, but as it turns out, most of the world’s tallest buildings aren’t even in North America. They’re actually in Asia and the Middle East. In the chart above, CityLab rounds up the locations of the world’s 100 tallest towers since 1930, when the great, global skyscraper race had just kicked off. From laying claim to all 100 back in the ’30s, to now accounting for fewer than 25 of these super-sized towers, the trajectory depicted stateside (and globally for that matter) is nothing short of fascinating.
- Infographic: The Tallest Buildings of the Last 5,000 Years Charted
- How the Cost of One World Trade Center Compares to the World’s Most Expensive Skyscrapers
- 25 Epic Buildings That Were Never Constructed