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Visual Capitalist

The Global Chip Shortage Impact on American Automakers



Chips, or semiconductor devices, are behind all of the world’s increasingly complex electrical and digital devices.

That includes well-known items like computers and smartphones, but also other products that are becoming “smarter” including appliances, watches, and especially cars.

The automotive industry accounts for a large share of global chip consumption, with modern cars having smart and complex entertainment systems, navigation, and sensors. A modern car can have anywhere from 500-1,500 different chips powering its different functions.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, shifting consumer demands and a slowing economy called for a reduction in semiconductor manufacturing. And unfortunately, it can take the supply chain a long time to come back online, as much as 1.5 years.

American Manufacturers Take the Biggest Hit

As the global economy has started to bounce back and demand for digital devices has increased, the chip manufacturing supply chain has become strained on its still-low supply.

And unfortunately for automakers, cars are taking the brunt of the hit.

Manufacturer Model Estimated Volume Impact (10k+)
Ford Ford F-Series 109,710
Stellantis Jeep Cherokee 98,584
GM Chevrolet Equinox 81,833
GM Chevrolet Malibu 56,929
Ford Ford Explorer 46,766
Stellantis Jeep Compass 42,195
Ford Ford Edge 37,521
Ford Ford Escape 36,463
Ford Ford Transit 26,507
Stellantis Chrysler Voyager 25,728
Subaru Subaru Outback 23,882
Stellantis Chrysler Pacifica 19,601
GM GMC Terrain 18,417
GM Chevrolet Express 18,268
Volkswagen Volkswagen Jetta 18,044
GM Chevrolet Colorado 15,153
Stellantis Ram 1500 14,793
Stellantis Jeep Grand Cherokee 14,731
GM Chevrolet Blazer 14,418
Stellantis Dodge Charger 13,492
GM Cadillac XT4 12,233
Ford Ford Mustang 12,019
Volkswagen Volkswagen Tiguan 12,010
Toyota Toyota Tundra 11,411
Ford Lincoln Nautilus 10,601
Subaru Subaru Ascent 10,508
GM Chevrolet Camaro 10,489
Honda Honda Civic 10,206

Though most of the world’s major automakers have factory production in North America, American-based manufacturers are estimated to take the hardest hit.

Of the more than 1.1 million vehicles estimated to face production delays, Ford, Stellantis, and GM combine for 855,000. Ford specifically has five of the top 10 models facing delays, including the largest hit: the F-series at 109,710 delayed units.

Manufacturer Estimated Volume
Ford 324,616
General Motors 277,966
Stellantis 252,193
Subaru 45,272
Volkswagen 45,215
Honda 42,951
Nissan 41,928
Toyota 23,670
Tesla 6,418
Mazda 6,133
COMPAS 4,200
Hyundai 2,548
Volvo 1,287

Other automakers with less production based in North America are facing far softer impacts. Japanese automakers Honda, Nissan, and Toyota are estimated to take a collective hit of 108,549 delayed models, while companies like Hyundai and Volvo have less than 3,000 vehicles impacted.

The biggest reason for the discrepancy? Where each automaker sources and installs its chips. For American manufacturers in particular, the over-dependence on chips coming through China, Korea, and Taiwan has caused the current U.S. government to look for solutions, with the Senate recently approving $52 billion in subsidies for local chip manufacturing.

When the chip shortage will end is currently anybody’s guess, as manufacturers and countries are scrambling to increase capacity. Whether the financial influx from the U.S. will be enough, and how long it will take to affect a very-slow manufacturing process, remains up in the air.

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Visual Capitalist

1.6 Billion Disposable Masks Entered Our Oceans in 2020



The Briefing

  • 52 billion disposable face masks were produced in 2020 (this includes N95 respirators and surgical masks)
  • It’s estimated that 1.6 billion of these masks ended up in our oceans
  • This equates to roughly 5,500 tons of plastic pollution

Demand for Disposable Masks Skyrockets in 2020

Following the World Health Organization’s formal declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world quickly mandated the use of face masks in public spaces.

This led to a massive demand shock, prompting factories to begin producing disposable masks at full capacity. The majority of these masks were produced in China, and in April 2020, the country reported a staggering daily production figure of 450 million masks.

Plastic Pollution: A Lesser Known Side Effect

In Ocean Asia’s 2020 report, Masks on the Beach, researchers developed a formula to provide reasonable estimates for the number of disposable masks entering the environment.

Given an annual production figure of 52 billion disposable masks and a loss rate of 3% (the percentage of masks that escape water management systems), the team concluded that nearly 1.6 billion face masks wound up in our oceans in 2020. This amounts to approximately 5,500 tons of plastic pollution.

These masks are commonly made of polypropylene, which easily breaks up into microplastics. While the effects of microplastics on human health are not yet determined, these fragments are incredibly common in our water supply—for example, 94% of U.S. tap water is deemed to be contaminated.

Disposable Doesn’t Mean They’re Gone

Despite their single-use nature, disposable masks are expected to take more than four centuries to decompose while in the ocean. Here’s how this compares to other items we use on a day-to-day basis.

Item Years Needed to Biodegrade
Disposable masks 450
Disposable diaper 450
Plastic bottle 450
Aluminum can 200
Styrofoam cup 50
Plastic grocery bag 20
Cigarette butt 10

The pandemic has extended well into 2021, and the number of disposable masks polluting our oceans is likely to continue growing.

With this in mind, various companies and organizations are beginning to search for a solution. One noteworthy example is Plaxtil, which is developing a method for recycling surgical masks so that the raw materials can be used for other products.

»Like this? Then you might enjoy this infographic on the flow of plastic waste.

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Visual Capitalist

Ranked: The Reputation of 100 Major Brands in the U.S.



View the full size version of this infographic by clicking here

Media consumption spiked in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak as Americans actively sought information and entertainment while at home. Whether this changed over the course of 2020 remains unclear, however.

To dive deeper into the issue, this infographic explores each generation’s shifts in media consumption habits as the pandemic wore on.

Further below, we’ll also examine which media sources Americans deemed to be the most trustworthy, and why consumption habits may have changed for good.

Changes in American Media Consumption, by Generation

The data in this infographic comes from two surveys conducted by Global Web Index (GWI). The first was completed in April 2020 (N=2,337) and asked participants a series of questions regarding media consumption during COVID-19.

To see how consumption had changed by the end of the year, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation commissioned GWI to complete a follow-up survey in December 2020 (N=2,014). The following tables provide a summary of the results.

Gen Z

Unsurprisingly, a significant percentage of Gen Z reported an increase in digital media consumption in April 2020 in comparison to pre-pandemic habits. This bump was driven by higher use of online videos, video games, and online TV/streaming films.

By December 2020, these media categories became even more popular with this cohort. Most notably, podcasts saw the highest increase, jumping almost 15% by the end of the year.

Category April 2020 December 2020 Change (percentage points)
Podcasts 10.9% 25.8% +14.9%
Video Games 29.9% 42.1% +12.2%
Music Streaming 28.0% 34.6% +6.6%
Broadcast TV 24.1% 17.0% -7.1%
Online TV / streaming films 36.8% 39% +2.2%
Online Videos (Youtube/TikTok/etc.) 51.4% 59.1% +7.7%
Livestreams 17.4% 19.5% +2.1%
Books / literature 17.1% 20.1% +3.0%
Online Press 19.9% 17.0% -2.9%
Physical Press 8.9% 6.3% -2.6%
Radio 17.8% 10.7% -7.1%
None 9.0% 13.8% +4.8%

The popularity of traditional outlets like broadcast TV and radio declined from their April 2020 highs, though they are still up relative to pre-pandemic levels for Gen Z survey respondents.


Results from the December 2020 survey show that Millennials trimmed their media consumption from earlier in the year. This was most apparent in news outlets (online and physical press), which saw double digit declines in popularity relative to April.

Category April 2020 December 2020 Change (percentage points)
Podcasts 20.9% 26.3% +5.4%
Video Games 32.1% 29.6% -2.5%
Music Streaming 37.4% 30.2% -7.2%
Broadcast TV 35.7% 24.6% -11.1
Online TV / streaming films 42.2% 39.2% -3.0
Online Videos (Youtube/TikTok/etc.) 44.9% 42.5% -2.4%
Livestreams 32.9% 15.6% -17.3%
Books / literature 20.4% 24% +3.6%
Online Press 37.0% 16.5% -20.5%
Physical Press 20.3% 8.0% -12.3%
Radio 27.2% 17.9% -9.3%
None 9.1% 20.3% +11.2%

Books and podcasts were the only two categories to capture more interest from Millennials over the time period. It’s also worth noting that the percentage of respondents who said “none” for media consumption rose to 20.3%, up significantly from 9.1% in April.

Possible factors for the increase in “none” responses include easing government restrictions and a return to more normal work schedules.

Gen X

The media consumption habits of Gen X developed similarly to Millennials over the year.

Category April 2020 December 2020 Change (percentage points)
Podcasts 11.1% 13.3% +2.2%
Video Games 20.4% 16.8% -3.6%
Music Streaming 29.6% 21.7% -7.9%
Broadcast TV 46.4% 29.8% -16.6%
Online TV / streaming films 40.8% 29.9% -10.9%
Online Videos (Youtube/TikTok/etc.) 38.5% 23.6% -14.9%
Livestreams 23.4% 8.4% -15.0%
Books / literature 22.2% 22.6% +0.4%
Online Press 32.7% 14.3% -18.4%
Physical Press 7.6% 4.6% -3.0%
Radio 23.5% 16.6% -6.9%
None 16.0% 28.9% +12.9%

Broadcast TV and online press saw the largest declines over the time period, while once again, podcasts and books were the only two categories to capture more interest relative to April. The percentage of respondents reporting “none” rose to 28.9%—a slightly higher share than that of Millennials.


Media consumption trends among Baby Boomers were mixed, with some categories increasing and others decreasing since April. Broadcast TV saw the biggest decline in usage of all media types, but remained the most popular category for this cohort.

Category April 2020 December 2020 Change (percentage points)
Podcasts 4.4% 7.9% +3.5%
Video Games 10.5% 9.5% -1.0%
Music Streaming 13.7% 14.4% +0.7%
Broadcast TV 42.3% 36.7% -5.6%
Online TV / streaming films 22.5% 22.0% -0.5%
Online videos (Youtube/TikTok/etc.) 11.6% 18.2% +6.6%
Livestreams 8.8% 6.5% -2.3%
Books / literature 13.7% 17.4% +3.7%
Online Press 13.8% 11.4% -2.4%
Physical Press 7.1% 4.6% -2.5%
Radio 15.3% 15.5% +0.2%
None 23.0% 31.0% +8.0%

Boomers also had the largest share of “none” respondents in both studies (23.0% in April and 31.0% in December).

Where do Americans Go For Trustworthy News?

To learn more about American media consumption—particularly when it came to staying updated on the pandemic—survey respondents were asked to confirm which of the following sources they found trustworthy.

Knight Foundation Trustworthy Sources

The deviations between each generation don’t appear to be too drastic, but there are some key takeaways from this data.

For starters, Gen Z appears to be more skeptical of mainstream news channels like CNN, with only 28.9% believing them to be trustworthy. This contrasts the most with Gen X, which saw 40.1% of its respondents give news channels the thumbs up.

This story is flipped when we turn to the World Health Organization (WHO). Gen Z demonstrated the highest levels of trust in information published by WHO, at 50.3% of respondents. Only 39.0% of Gen X could say the same.

By far the least trustworthy source was foreign governments’ websites. This category had the lowest average approval rating across the four generations, and scored especially poor with Boomers.

The Lasting Effects of the Pandemic

Habits that were picked up during 2020 are likely to linger, even as life finally returns to normal. To find out what’s changed, respondents were asked which categories of media they expected to continue consuming in elevated amounts.

The chart below shows each generation’s top three responses.

media consumption after COVID

Note that the top three for both Gen Z and Millennials are all digital and online categories (video games can be played offline, but the majority of popular titles are online). This contrasts with the preferences of Gen X and Boomers, who appear to be sticking with more traditional outlets in broadcast TV and books.

With consumption habits of younger and older Americans moving in opposite directions, advertisers and media companies will likely need a clear understanding of their target audiences in order to be successful.

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Visual Capitalist

Mapped: GDP per Capita Worldwide



View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

GDP per capita has steadily risen globally over time, and in tandem, the standard of living worldwide has increased immensely.

This map using data from the IMF shows the GDP per capita (nominal) of nearly every country and territory in the world.

GDP per capita is one of the best measures of a country’s wealth as it provides an understanding of how each country’s citizens live on average, showing a representation of the quantity of goods and services created per person.

The Standard of Living Over Time

Looking at history, our standard of living has increased drastically. According to Our World in Data, from 1820 to 2018, the average global GDP per capita increased by almost 15x.

Literacy rates, access to vaccines, and basic education have also improved our quality of life, while things like child mortality rates and poverty have all decreased.

For example, in 1990, 1.9 billion people lived in extreme poverty, which was 36% of the world’s population at the time. Over the last 30 years, the number has been steadily decreasing — by 2030, an estimated 479 million people will be living in extreme poverty, which according to UN population estimates, will represent only 6% of the population.

That said, economic inequality between different regions is still prevalent. In fact, the richest country today (in terms of nominal GDP per capita), Luxembourg, is over 471x more wealthy than the poorest, Burundi.

Here’s a look at the 10 countries with the highest GDP per capita in 2021:

gdp per capita top 10 countries

However, not all citizens in Luxembourg are extremely wealthy. In fact:

  • 29% of people spend over 40% of their income on housing costs
  • 31% would be at risk of falling into poverty if they had to forgo 3 months of income

The cost of living is expensive in Luxembourg — but the standard of living in terms of goods and services produced is the highest in the world. Additionally, only 4% of the population reports low life satisfaction.

Emerging Economies and Developing Countries

Although we have never lived in a more prosperous period, and poverty rates have been declining overall, this year global extreme poverty rose for the first time in over two decades.

About 120 million additional people are living in poverty as a result of the pandemic, with the total expected to rise to about 150 million by the end of 2021.

Many of the poorest countries in the world are also considered Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by the UN. In these countries, more than 75% of the population live below the poverty line.

Here’s a look at the 10 countries with the lowest GDP per capita:

gdp per capita bottom 10 countries

Life in these countries offers a stark contrast compared to the top 10. Here’s a glance at the quality of life in the poorest country, Burundi:

  • 80% of the population works in agriculture
  • 1 in 3 Burundians are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance
  • Average households spend up to two-thirds of their income on food

However, many of the world’s poorest countries can also be classified as emerging markets with immense economic potential in the future.

In fact, China has seen the opportunity in emerging economies. Their confidence in these regions is best exemplified in the Belt and Road initiative which has funneled massive investments into infrastructure projects across multiple African countries.

Continually Raising the Bar

Prosperity is a very recent reality only characterizing the last couple hundred years. In pre-modern societies, the average person was living in conditions that would be considered extreme poverty by today’s standards.

Overall, the standard of living for everyone today is immensely improved compared to even recent history, and some countries will be experiencing rapid economic growth in the future.

GDP per Capita in 2021: Full Dataset

Country GDP per Capita (Nominal, 2021, USD)
🇱🇺 Luxembourg $125,923
🇮🇪 Ireland $90,478
🇨🇭 Switzerland $90,358
🇳🇴 Norway $76,408
🇺🇸 United States $66,144
🇩🇰 Denmark $63,645
🇸🇬 Singapore $62,113
🇮🇸 Iceland $58,371
🇳🇱 Netherlands $58,029
🇸🇪 Sweden $57,660
Australia $57,211
Qatar $55,417
Austria $54,820
Finland $54,817
Germany $51,967
Belgium $50,051
Macao SAR $48,207
Hong Kong SAR $47,990
Canada $45,871
France $44,770
San Marino $44,676
Israel $43,439
United Kingdom $42,236
New Zealand $41,793
Japan $40,733
Italy $35,062
United Arab Emirates $32,686
South Korea $32,305
Malta $32,099
The Bahamas $31,532
Puerto Rico $31,207
Spain $31,178
Europe $31,022
Cyprus $29,686
Taiwan Province of China $28,890
Slovenia $28,734
Estonia $26,378
Brunei Darussalam $26,274
Czech Republic $25,991
Portugal $25,097
Bahrain $23,710
Kuwait $23,138
Lithuania $22,752
Aruba $22,710
Slovakia $21,606
Saudi Arabia $20,742
Greece $20,521
Latvia $19,934
Hungary $17,645
Barbados $17,472
Poland $16,740
Trinidad and Tobago $16,622
Saint Kitts and Nevis $16,491
Croatia $16,402
Uruguay $16,297
Romania $14,916
Antigua and Barbuda $14,748
Oman $14,675
Panama $14,390
Chile $14,209
Maldives $14,194
Palau $13,180
Seychelles $12,648
Costa Rica $11,805
China $11,713
Malaysia $11,378
Bulgaria $11,349
Russia $10,793
Saint Lucia $10,636
Grenada $10,211
Guyana $9,913
Nauru $9,865
Mauritius $9,630
Kazakhstan $9,454
Montenegro $9,152
Argentina $9,095
Turkmenistan $8,874
Serbia $8,444
Mexico $8,403
Dominica $8,111
Equatorial Guinea $8,000
Gabon $7,785
Dominican Republic $7,740
Thailand $7,675
Iran $7,668
Turkey $7,659
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines $7,401
Botswana $7,036
North Macedonia $6,933
Brazil $6,728
Bosnia and Herzegovina $6,536
Belarus $6,513
Peru $6,229
Jamaica $5,643
Ecuador $5,589
Colombia $5,457
South Africa $5,236
Paraguay $5,207
Albania $5,161
Tonga $4,949
Suriname $4,921
Fiji $4,822
Iraq $4,767
Kosovo $4,753
Libya $4,733
Georgia $4,714
Moldova $4,527
Armenia $4,427
Namibia $4,412
Azerbaijan $4,404
Guatemala $4,385
Jordan $4,347
Tuvalu $4,296
Indonesia $4,287
Mongolia $4,139
Marshall Islands $4,092
Samoa $4,053
El Salvador $4,023
Micronesia $3,995
Belize $3,968
Sri Lanka $3,928
Vietnam $3,759
Eswatini $3,697
Cabo Verde $3,675
Bolivia $3,618
Ukraine $3,615
Egypt $3,606
Philippines $3,602
North Africa $3,560
Algeria $3,449
Bhutan $3,447
Morocco $3,409
Tunisia $3,380
Djibouti $3,275
West Bank and Gaza $3,060
Vanuatu $2,967
Lao P.D.R. $2,614
Papua New Guinea $2,596
Honduras $2,593
Côte d’Ivoire $2,571
Solomon Islands $2,501
Ghana $2,300
Congo, Republic of $2,271
Nigeria $2,209
São Tomé and Príncipe $2,133
Angola $2,130
Kenya $2,122
India $2,031
Bangladesh $1,990
Uzbekistan $1,836
Nicaragua $1,828
Kiribati $1,817
Mauritania $1,782
Cambodia $1,680
Cameroon $1,657
Senegal $1,629
Venezuela $1,586
Myanmar $1,441
Comoros $1,431
Benin $1,400
Timor-Leste $1,273
Kyrgyz Republic $1,270
Nepal $1,166
Tanzania $1,132
Guinea $1,067
Lesotho $1,018
Zambia $1,006
Mali $992
Uganda $971
Ethiopia $918
Tajikistan $851
Burkina Faso $851
Guinea-Bissau $844
Rwanda $820
Gambia, The $809
Togo $759
Sudan $714
Chad $710
Haiti $698
Liberia $646
Eritrea $632
Yemen $573
Niger $567
Madagascar $554
Central African Republic $522
Zimbabwe $516
Afghanistan $506
Congo, Dem. Rep. of the $478
Sierra Leone $471
Mozambique $431
Malawi $397
South Sudan, Republic of $323
Burundi $267

Editor’s note: Readers have rightly pointed out that Monaco is one of the world’s richest countries in GDP per capita (nominal) terms. This is true, but the IMF dataset excludes Monaco and lists it as “No data” each year. As a result, it is excluded from the visualization(s) above.

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Visual Capitalist

Olympics 2021: Comparing Every Sports Ball



The Briefing

  • Collectively, Amazon, Facebook, and Google make over $112 billion in advertising revenues
  • Two-thirds of ads in the U.S. are now digital

3 Companies Now Make Up 50% of U.S. Ad Revenues

Every year in the U.S., CFOs and marketing executives gather to allocate a portion of company funds towards advertising budgets. Today, on average, over half of those U.S. ad dollars end up in the deep pockets of just three tech stocks—Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

The advertising landscape is changing beyond recognition. Today’s data takes a closer look at annual U.S. advertising dollars, where Big Tech stocks continue to grow their presence.

The Ad Dollars in 2020

The U.S. is home to some of the biggest advertising spenders in the world. Despite a decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. advertising spend was worth just over $225 billion in 2020.

The Big Tech ad triopoly made roughly $120 billion of this, and are taking up more market share with every year. One reason for this is the industry’s move towards digital ads, which now make up almost two-thirds of all ad spending.

An Unlikely Competitor

Big Tech stocks like Google and Facebook are well known pure plays on the advertising space. However, Amazon’s inclusion may come as a surprise. Typically known for their ecommerce business, Amazon now also makes over $16 billion in ad revenue each year.

But it wasn’t always like this. Prior to 2015, the digital ad space was a duopoly consisting of just Facebook and Google. At the time, Amazon ad revenues were relatively minuscule, totaling under $1 billion.

Here’s a closer look at those ad revenues over time:

Year Ad Revenue ($B) % Change
2022P $20.07 23%
2021P $16.32 28%
2020 $12.75 23%
2019 $10.32 39%
2018 $7.41 122%

If these trends serve as any indication, advertising budgets will only be skewing more digital, and the ad triopoly will continue to command a larger share with time.

Where does this data come from?

Source: GroupM
Notes: Amazon ad revenues are estimates from the “Other” category of their reported revenues

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