Contrary to fears that globalization could collapse under the weight of resurgent economic nationalism – reflected by the 2016 Brexit referendum and President Trump’s “America First” stance – the DHL Global Connectedness Index, which measures the flow of trade, capital, information and people, hit a record high in 2017.
Moreover, the Index – developed by New York University globalization experts Professor Pankaj Ghemawat and Steven A. Altman together with Phillip Bastian – highlights how the world is actually far less globalized than most of globalization’s antagonists believe. Despite all our advances in transportation and communications, international trade, capital, information and people travel only 60 percent as far as they would in a “flat” world, and more than half of those journeys take place between countries and their top three destinations. Meanwhile, a mere 3 percent of people live outside of the country where they were born.
Unsurprisingly, eight of the 10 most globally connected countries in 2017 – including the U.K. and Germany – are in Europe, the world’s most connected region, which tops the index for trade and people flows.
Economies with the highest proportions of flows crossing national borders are all wealthy and relatively small, such as Singapore or Belgium, while countries with the most global flow patterns are wealthy but larger, such as the U.S. and South Korea.