Rich Asians Will Replace White People Soon

It honestly can’t happen soon enough


Study of Perspective (aka F*ck! the White House). Ai Weiwei

Asia’s middle class is growing faster than the West’s. In a few decades, we will replace you, a trend only accelerated by COVID-19. As the top 20% of the globe becomes more diverse, it will be our people, our economies, our art that rule the world.

So get used to BTS, and buy a rice cooker. There’s more to come.

The Graphs

Branko Milanovic has been looking at global incomes for years. In 2012 he published his famous elephant graph, essentially an economic dick pic of the 1%.

It shows three interesting trends.

Who global income growth was going to (by decile)
1. High income growth among Asian middle classes 
(the bump at the global median)
2. A lack of such growth among the Western middle classes
(the dip at the top 20-1)
3. Fast growth of income among the global top 1%
(what it says on the tin)

This graph became famous because the 1% were rising like an elephant’s trunk, but the real story was that Asia — especially China — was coming up hard. This Asian growth was in fact a wave, which has continued into 2020.

Cumulative growth 2008–13, in percent, in international dollars

As you can see, the elephant’s trunk has now gone down but the median wave (China has moved from the 50th to the 60th percentile) is still cresting. While America has seen its middle class collapse into debt peonage and $800,000 dollar homes with maybe a dishwasher, the middle class is alive and well in Asia.

It honestly looks like the 1% sold out their own middle classes by outsourcing entire industries to Asia. Now the jobs — and growth — are permanently in Asia.

Broadly speaking, the post-2008 period was good for the globally poor and for the global middle class; it was not good for the Western middle classes and the global top 1% (Milanovic)



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at