This Tweet By Bill Gates Shows How Staggeringly Fast China Has Grown

It's the most staggering statistic.

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As long as images depicting China's staggeringly fast growth within recent decades continue to crop up online, we'll continue to have our minds-blown

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Just how mind-blowing? Here, let Bill Gates put it in perspective:

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Think about this for a second.

In a period of just three years, China used more concrete than the U.S. did in an entire century.

An animated combination picture shows the financial district of Pudong in 1987 and in 2013 with the nearly-complete Shanghai Tower, in the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, on July 31, 2013.

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Between 1901 and 2000, the U.S. built an entire interstate highway system, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam and just about all of its skyscrapers -- to name just a few concrete-intensive things.

China did all that, and almost half again, in just three years.

The stat comes from historian Vaclav Smil's book Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization

While Smil and Gates acknowledge the effects such incredible expansion has had in cutting down poverty, China's transformation reminds us that with rapid development comes abandoned cities, forced evictions and a serious property bubble.

An example of how rapid growth has left China with a huge and massive ghost cities and empty housing

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