The world built more skyscrapers and supertall buildings in 2014 than in any other year in history

Updated Jan 21, 2015

If you live in a large city and have thought it seems like a lot of new skyscrapers are going up, you would be correct. That’s because the world is in the middle of a skyscraper surge, with 2014 seeing the construction of more tall and supertall buildings completed than in any other year.

According to the year in review report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, 97 skyscrapers (those taller than 656 feet) were completed in 2014. That handily beats the previous record of 81 set back in 2011.

As the home to 74 of these new buildings, Asia is by far the continent leading the charge in this race to the top. China alone built 58 of them.

The world also built more supertall buildings (those taller than 984 feet) in 2014 than in any other year. Eleven supertalls were completed last year, the tallest among them being New York City’s One World Trade Center (aka the Freedom Tower) at 1,776 feet.

Just to give you an idea of this surge in very tall buildings, of the 85 supertall skyscrapers that exist in the world, more than half, 46, have been built in the last four years alone.

Another impressive stat for 2014? The 97 skyscrapers completed in 2014 add up to 76,552 feet—also an annual record.

For construction in North American and Europe, the CTBUH primarily attributes the surge in skyscrapers to pent-up demand as part of a post-recessionary recovery in North America and Europe. As far as China goes, builders are trying to keep up with the more than 250 million people relocating to urban areas, necessitating the construction of skyscrapers where there had been none previously.

And the council doesn’t expect things to slow down in 2015, projecting the completion of between 105 and 130 skyscrapers, eight to 15 of which will be supertalls with one megatall, the 2,073-foot Shanghai Tower in China. China is expected to have an even bigger year in 2015 as well, on track to complete an astounding 106 skyscrapers.