Economy

Animation: Mapping the Recovery from the Global Recession of 2020 – Visual Capitalist

Can you remember a year more life-changing than 2020?

Over a million lives were lost in the pandemic, oil prices turned negative, and protests swept the streets. At the same time, 10 years of technology advancements seemed to happen in mere months—and now vaccinations are rolling out at a record speed.

Below, we round up some of the year’s biggest news events with charts and visualizations.


Graphic #1   ⟩⟩   January 2020

Australian Bushfires

For some in the Southern Hemisphere who ushered in the new year first, it started on fire.

Reuters assessed the scale of the damage caused by bushfires across Australia. In fact, total burned areas reached 18.6 million hectares (186,000km²) by March, bigger than the total land mass of entire countries like Cuba.

Here’s the damage done in the state of New South Wales alone, compared to previous years:

australia nsw bushfire season 2019-2020

While bushfires are common in Australia, this year, dry conditions fueled the flames. The fires raged for nearly 80 days, displacing or killing nearly 3 billion animals—a devastating biodiversity loss for the country.

Graphic #2   ⟩⟩   January 2020

Rising Iran–U.S. Tensions

In early January, a U.S. air strike incinerated the car of General Qassim Suleimani, a security mastermind and one of Iran’s most powerful military strategists. U.S. officials claimed that Iran was planning an “imminent” attack.

In retaliation, Iran fired two rockets at U.S. military bases located in Iraq. No one was killed. As tensions escalated, the U.S. House of Representatives passed
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