Visualizing 50 Years of Global Steel Production


This post is by Niccolo Conte from Visual Capitalist


Subscribe to the Elements free mailing list for more like this

World Steel Production history

Visualizing 50 Years of Global Steel Production

This was originally posted on Elements. Get access to the free mailing list to get up to three visualizations on natural resource megatrends per week.

From the bronze age to the iron age, metals have defined eras of human history. If our current era had to be defined similarly, it would undoubtedly be known as the steel age.

Steel is the foundation of our buildings, vehicles, and industries, with its rates of production and consumption often seen as markers for a nation’s development. Today, it is the world’s most commonly used metal and most recycled material, with 1,864 million metric tons of crude steel produced in 2020.

This infographic uses data from the World Steel Association to visualize 50 years of crude steel production, showcasing our world’s unrelenting creation of this essential material.

The State of Steel Production

Global steel production has more than tripled over the past 50 years, despite nations like the U.S. and Russia scaling down their domestic production and relying more on imports. Meanwhile, China and India have consistently grown their production to become the top two steel producing nations.

Below are the world’s current top crude steel producing nations by 2020 production.

RankCountrySteel Production (2020, Mt)
#1?? China1,053.0
#2?? India99.6
#3?? Japan83.2
#4?? Russia*73.4
#5?? United States72.7
#6?? South Korea67.1
#7?? Turkey35.8
#8?? Germany35.7
#9?? Brazil (Read more...)