The 2020 recession is the story of the century. On average, around 19% of the world’s population is in recession in any given year, but with large variability. In 2020, this will jump to 66%.

The video below shows recessions 1991-2020 for all countries in the world over time. Deep red is full recession, light grey is no recession, and shades of red is proportional to the share of population living in recession (the analysis is done at the city, other urban and rural levels and then aggregated).


We define a recession as year-over-year decline in GDP/capita. This is close to the conventional definition* of two consecutive quarters of GDP decline (quarterly data is not available for many countries).

Below is an interactive spreadsheet that allows you to check every region, country and locality type in the world.

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* The official definition of recession is usually not two consecutive quarters of decline, but it is a convenient shorthand. E.g., in the US, recessions are determined by a committee within the National Bureau of Economic Research. It takes into account a multitude of factors.