Annual Asia Power Index 2020 (Lowy Institute)

Authors: Methodology by Hervé Lemahieu, Analysis by Hervé Lemahieu with Alyssa Leng | Lowy Institute | Published 19 October 2020

Asia’s economic transformation is reshaping the global distribution of power, with profound implications for war and peace in the twenty-first century.

The annual Asia Power Index — launched by the Lowy Institute in 2018 — measures resources and influence to rank the relative power of states in Asia. The project maps out the existing distribution of power as it stands today, and tracks shifts in the balance of power over time.

The Index ranks 26 countries and territories in terms of their capacity to shape their external environment — its scope reaching as far west as Pakistan, as far north as Russia, and as far into the Pacific as Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The 2020 edition — which covers three years of data — is the most comprehensive assessment of the changing distribution of power in Asia so far. Among other things, it aims to sharpen the debate on the geopolitical consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lowy Institute Asia Power Index is supported by the Lowy Institute’s Engaging Asia Project, which was established with the financial support of the Australian Government.

Explore the interactive 2020 Asia Power Index (external link to Lowy Institute website)
Download the Asia Power Index 2020 Key Findings report (external link to Lowy Institute website)

The Lowy Institute Asia Power Index is an interesting analysis of relative strengths and weaknesses of selected countries. As with any endeavour of this kind, there’s room for debate about the validity and importance of the measures and submeasures, and the user should pay close attention to the methodology, the weightings given to the various measures, and the nature of the data sources.