One World Trade Center complex, New York City 14% increase in average height of world's 100 tallest buildings since 2001. All-steel buildings comprise 9% of the world's tallest 100 buildings today, compared to 39% in 2001. 84% of 200 m+ buildings were constructed after 2001. 10x as many 200 m+ buildings on average were completed 2012-2021, compared to 1992-2001. 86 of the 100 tallest buildings were constructed since 2001.
Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress collection; digitally enhanced by rawpixel (cc by-sa)

The Global Impact of 9/11
on Tall Buildings

In the immediate aftermath of the terrible events of 9/11, the age of the skyscraper seemed to be at an end. After witnessing the collapse of the World Trade Center towers due to terrorist attacks, many people, including some in the building industry, believed that we would no longer be comfortable living, working, and socializing in such iconic buildings, given their potential as high-profile targets. Yet 20 years later, the data study below indicates the exact opposite, with more than five times as many tall buildings built since 9/11 than existed before.*

As the world continues to struggle with other emergencies that have, perhaps, also prematurely predicted an end to skyscrapers, urban density, and even the very premise of cities, the study below charts some “big data” trends around skyscrapers over the last 30 years.

The findings of this data study perhaps also beg a question. Live-streamed in a pre-social media world, 9/11 was seared into the consciousness of people around the entire world in a way that no other event had before, and the tall building typology along with it. Consequently, is it possible that 9/11 actually became a catalyst, rather than an inhibitor, for tall buildings?

*Note: This statement is based on buildings over 200 m (656 ft) in height completed globally.

Data Fact: 84% of all buildings 200 meters or taller (200m+) currently in existence were built after 2001.

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Data Fact: During the decade 1991–2000, an average of twelve 200m+ buildings were built annually. From 2011–2020, that annual average was 113.

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Data Fact: Of the world’s current 100 tallest buildings, 86 have been built since 2001.

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Data Fact: Eight of the 10 current tallest buildings in the US have been built since 2001. The World Trade Center towers would currently be in seventh and eighth place if standing today.

Hover over each building to see additional building information.

 
Data Fact: The original World Trade Center towers would rank as the world’s 31st- and 32nd-tallest buildings if standing today.

One World Trade Center and Two World Trade Center*

Rank Building Name Location Completion Floors Height (m) Height (ft)
1 Burj Khalifa Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2010 163 828 2,717
2 Shanghai Tower Shanghai, China 2015 128 632 2,073
3 Makkah Royal Clock Tower Mecca, Saudi Arabia 2012 120 601 1,972
4 Ping An Finance Center Shenzhen, China 2017 115 599 1,965
5 Lotte World Tower Seoul, South Korea 2017 123 555 1,819
6 One World Trade Center New York City, United States 2014 94 541 1,776
= 7 Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre Guangzhou, China 2016 111 530 1,739
= 7 Tianjin CTF Finance Centre Tianjin, China 2019 97 530 1,739
9 CITIC Tower Beijing, China 2018 109 528 1,731
10 TAIPEI 101 Taipei, China 2004 101 508 1,667
11 Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai, China 2008 101 492 1,614
12 International Commerce Centre Hong Kong, China 2010 108 484 1,588
13 Central Park Tower New York City, United States 2020 98 472 1,550
14 Lakhta Center St. Petersburg, Russia 2019 87 462 1,516
15 Vincom Landmark 81 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 2018 81 461 1,513
16 Changsha IFS Tower T1 Changsha, China 2018 94 452 1,483
= 17 Petronas Twin Tower 1 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88 452 1,483
= 17 Petronas Twin Tower 2 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88 452 1,483
= 19 Zifeng Tower Nanjing, China 2010 66 450 1,476
= 19 Suzhou IFS Suzhou, China 2019 95 450 1,476
21 The Exchange 106 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2019 95 445 1,462
22 Wuhan Center Tower Wuhan, China 2019 88 443 1,454
23 Willis Tower Chicago, United States 1974 108 442 1,451
24 KK100 Shenzhen, China 2011 98 442 1,449
25 Guangzhou International Finance Center Guangzhou, China 2010 103 439 1,439
26 One Vanderbilt New York City, United States 2020 59 427 1,401
27 432 Park Avenue New York City, United States 2015 85 426 1,397
28 Marina 101 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2017 101 425 1,394
29 Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, United States 2009 98 423 1,389
30 Jin Mao Tower Shanghai, China 1999 88 421 1,380
31 One World Trade Center New York City, United States 1972 110 417 1,368
32 Two World Trade Center New York City, United States 1973 110 415 1,362
33 Princess Tower Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2012 101 413 1,356
34 Al Hamra Tower Kuwait City, Kuwait 2011 80 413 1,354
35 Two International Finance Centre Hong Kong, China 2003 88 412 1,352
36 LCT The Sharp Landmark Tower Busan, South Korea 2019 101 412 1,350
37 Guangxi China Resources Tower Nanning, China 2020 86 403 1,321
38 Guiyang International Financial Center T1 Guiyang, China 2020 79 401 1,316
39 China Resources Tower Shenzhen, China 2018 68 392 1,288
40 23 Marina Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2012 88 392 1,287
41 CITIC Plaza Guangzhou, China 1996 80 390 1,280
42 Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1 Shenzhen, China 2020 80 388 1,273
43 30 Hudson Yards New York City, United States 2019 73 387 1,270
44 Shun Hing Square Shenzhen, China 1996 69 384 1,260
45 Eton Place Dalian Tower 1 Dalian, China 2016 80 383 1,257
46 Nanning Logan Century 1 Nanning, China 2018 82 381 1,251
47 Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2014 88 381 1,251
48 Empire State Building New York City, United States 1931 102 381 1,250
49 Elite Residence Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2012 87 380 1,248
50 Central Plaza Hong Kong, China 1992 78 374 1,227
51 Federation Tower Moscow, Russia 2016 93 374 1,226
52 Dalian International Trade Center Dalian, China 2019 86 370 1,214
53 The Address Boulevard Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2017 73 370 1,214
54 Haitian Center Tower 2 Qingdao, China 2021 74 369 1,211
55 Golden Eagle Tiandi Tower A Nanjing, China 2019 77 368 1,208
56 Bank of China Tower Hong Kong, China 1990 72 367 1,205
57 Bank of America Tower New York City, United States 2009 55 366 1,200
58 St. Regis Chicago Chicago, United States 2020 101 363 1,191
59 Almas Tower Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 68 360 1,181
60 Hanking Center Shenzhen, China 2018 65 359 1,177
61 Gevora Hotel Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2017 75 356 1,169
= 62 JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai Tower 1 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2012 82 355 1,166
= 62 JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai Tower 2 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2013 82 355 1,166
64 Emirates Tower One Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 54 355 1,163
= 65 Raffles City Chongqing T3N Chongqing, China 2019 79 354 1,163
= 65 Raffles City Chongqing T4N Chongqing, China 2019 74 354 1,163
67 OKO - Residential Tower Moscow, Russia 2015 90 354 1,162
68 The Torch Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2011 86 352 1,155
69 Forum 66 Tower 1 Shenyang, China 2015 68 351 1,150
70 The Pinnacle Guangzhou, China 2012 60 350 1,149
71 Spring City 66 Kunming, China 2019 61 349 1,145
72 85 Sky Tower Kaohsiung, China 1997 85 348 1,140
73 Shimao Hunan Center Changsha, China 2019 347 1,138
74 Aon Center Chicago, United States 1973 83 346 1,136
75 The Center Hong Kong, China 1998 73 346 1,135
76 NEVA TOWERS 2 Moscow, Russia 2020 79 345 1,132
77 875 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, United States 1969 100 344 1,128
78 Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2018 74 342 1,124
79 ADNOC Headquarters Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2015 65 342 1,122
80 One Shenzhen Bay Tower 7 Shenzhen, China 2018 71 341 1,120
81 LCT The Sharp Residential Tower A Busan, South Korea 2019 85 339 1,113
82 Comcast Technology Center Philadelphia, United States 2018 59 339 1,112
= 83 Wuxi International Finance Square Wuxi, China 2014 68 339 1,112
= 83 Heartland 66 Office Tower Wuhan, China 2020 60 339 1,112
85 Chongqing World Financial Center Chongqing, China 2015 72 339 1,112
86 Mercury City Tower Moscow, Russia 2013 75 339 1,112
= 87 Tianjin Modern City Office Tower Tianjin, China 2016 65 338 1,109
= 87 Suning Plaza Tower 1 Zhenjiang, China 2018 75 338 1,109
89 Hengqin International Finance Center Zhuhai, China 2020 69 338 1,108
90 Tianjin World Financial Center Tianjin, China 2011 75 337 1,105
91 SLS Dubai Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2020 78 336 1,102
92 Wilshire Grand Center Los Angeles, United States 2017 62 335 1,100
93 DAMAC Heights Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2018 88 335 1,099
= 94 Twin Towers Guiyang, East Tower Guiyang, China 2020 74 335 1,099
= 94 Twin Towers Guiyang, West Tower Guiyang, China 2020 74 335 1,099
96 Shimao International Plaza Shanghai, China 2006 60 333 1,094
97 LCT The Sharp Residential Tower B Busan, South Korea 2019 85 333 1,093
= 98 Rose Rayhaan by Rotana Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2007 71 333 1,093
= 98 Jinan Center Financial City A5-3 Jinan, China 2020 69 333 1,093
100 The Address Residence - Fountain Views III Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2019 77 332 1,089
Data Fact: In the 20 years since 2001, the average height of the 100 tallest buildings in the world has increased by 141%, from 284 m to 399 m. Since 2008, every building in the world’s 100 tallest list is a supertall building (300m+).

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Data Fact: In 2001, 49% of all 200m+ buildings were in North America. This figure is now at 15%, with significant growth in Asia and the Middle East.

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Data Fact: Six times the number of 200m+ buildings are now being completed in the US annually compared to 2001, and 10 times that number globally.
Decade Average Number of Completions per Year
US Buildings Non-US Buildings All Buildings
1991–2001 1 11 12
2002–2011 3 41 45
2012–2021 6 100 106
Data Fact: Prior to 2001, office buildings comprised more than 80% of all 200m+ buildings globally. Now office buildings represent less than 46% of the 200m+ group, with significant growth of mixed-use, residential, and hotel functions.

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Data Fact: Since 2001, the number of 200m+ buildings with all-steel structures has fallen to 9%, with significant growth of composite and concrete structures.

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