A reader asked if I could give perspective on the Eurozone debt problems taking into account the relatively small size of Greece and relatively big trouble it’s caused for the world. Specifically, what is the risk of “contagion” or similar problems happening with bigger countries. I’ve been toying with Google’s motion charts lately so I thought it would be a good medium to demonstrate the Eurozone debt situation over time using various metrics.
It’s a busy chart, but it shows the change in Debt-to-GDP, Total Debt, and Total GDP between 1997 and 2013 (the 2012 and 2013 numbers are projected numbers).
- Total GDP is on the X axis – so as data moves right, that country’s economy is expanding
- Debt-to-GDP is shown on the Y axis – as data moves up, that country is getting into a more dangerous debt load
- The colour of the data points also “heats up” to reflect dangerous levels in the Debt-to-GDP ratio (Blue is safe, green to yellow is getting high, and red is… Greece)
- The size of the data points also vary with Total Debt of that country – so if a big bubble was red, that means Greece would look like a candle compared to the sun (as Greece is relatively small)
Note: You have to press the Play button on the bottom left of the chart to see how each country changed over time.
You may have to refresh this page to see the chart. It’s flash based, so it may not work on some mobile devices.
You can actually play with the chart to visualize the data in multiple ways. By clicking in various spots you can change what data is shown on the X and Y axes, and you can also control the size and colours of the bubbles to correspond to different variables as well.
European Commission Eurostat Statistics
GDP in Euros from 1.1.1999, in ECU up to 31.12.1998; Gross Domestic Product at market prices
Debt in Euros from 1.1.1999, in ECU up to 31.12.1998; AMECO Dataset, General Government consolidated Gross Debt