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The Massive Money Infographic

Written by Nickel - 8 Comments

Awhile back, I ran across an amazing infographic by Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd. I haven’t mentioned it until now, however, because I didn’t really have time to dig into it. But now that I have, I have to say that I’m very impressed.

This infographic (picture in miniature below) is absolutely huge, and it comes with a giant list of sources. In it, Munroe works his way through a series of monetary visualizations at multiple levels. He starts out with dollars, then zooms out to thousands, millions, billions, and trillions.

He tackles both mundane, everyday issues (the cost of a cup of coffee, the annual cost of pet ownership, etc.) and scales up to bigger picture issues, like a comparison of how household net worth values has changed over the past 25 years, a visualization of household income by quintile (and even finer divisons), presidential fundraising, charitable giving, corporate revenue, federal spending, the derivatives markets, and more.

(click image to enlarge)

He even includes interesting tidbits like the cost to buy the world a Coke ($2.24B), the cost to teach the world to sing ($840B), the cost to fund Wikipedia for 100 years ($1.85B), and the total economic output of the human race so far (a little less than $2.4 quadrillion, with roughly 60% of that since 1980).

The entire infographic spans 12,528 x 8352 pixels, so be prepared for some scrolling.

If you take the time to dig through it, please come back and post the most interesting tidbits that you found.

Published on December 16th, 2011 - 8 Comments
Filed under: Online

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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8 Responses to “The Massive Money Infographic”

  1. 1
    BG Says:

    Typical 2007 CEO hourly pay: $5,419.

  2. 2
    Kathi Says:

    Enjoyed this, but I did not understand, halfway between Kate Middleton’s wedding dress and a Hogwart’s degree: what is “Typing F-U-N-D-S” and why is it worth/costs $10,000?

  3. 3
    BG Says:

    Kathi, that is the loan value of the FUNDS simcity cheat code (game)

  4. 4
    Maggie@SquarePennies Says:

    Can we say the mother of all financial infographics? He has a lot to learn about color combinations, or lack thereof. (Needs your input.)

    Now how much does he sell this for? Thinking of the timeline of history I bought some years ago.

  5. 5
    Maggie@SquarePennies Says:

    Answering my own question: $15. Now we know the perfect gift for all our money blogger friends! I still think it needs some design work.

  6. 6
    Evan Says:

    I can’t believe how expensive solar electricity is! I have been wondering for MONTHS why isn’t it cheaper? They have had panels for how many decades? Why haven’t they improved much like all our computers?

  7. 7
    BG Says:

    Evan, you talking about Solar electricity on your own home? I would think given economies of scale, that the power company will always be able to generate electricity FAR CHEAPER than an individual homeowner would ever be able to, regardless of the technology.

    Also, given a free-market, and if the costs/benefits were right, then the power companies would use Solar Panels too (just scaled up massively). My wager why solar electricity hasn’t taken off (yet), is due to our massive amounts of cheap natural gas: the US is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.

  8. 8
    Evan Says:

    I am talking about in general…how about an electric company that uses solar electricity to power their plants.

    It just seems like it is one of just a few technologies that hasn’t become dramatically cheaper over the past few decades. For example, my cell phone is more powerful than a computer 5 years ago and costs one-tenth the price, but it seems like solar is still stuck.

    The natural gas theory seems like a good guess, but it still seems unbelievable that someone out there hasn’t figured out a way to make the panels either more powerful (to an extent that they are “cheaper” at a per unit basis) or just simply cheaper to produce.

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