Back in 2010 I offered a quick analysis of various issues in Southeast Asian Studies based on data from Google Books. This data helps us to examine the frequency with which particularly words are used in the books scanned by Google.

Today I have done something similar for a number of important Asian countries. It is very crude but illustrates, I think, some important long-term dynamics in scholarly (and perhaps popular) interests. The results are available here and in the above image (click to expand). It shows that English-language interest to Southeast Asia is dwarfed by the attention to East and South Asia.

Indonesia hardly rates, especially when compared to Japan. During the 20th century India was the giant. On current trends, though, China’s rise looks promising. And even Singapore still outranks Thailand. Burma continues its inexorable decline, while Myanmar slowly rises above the surface.

It will be intriguing to see what happens to these trends over the next century. Any predictions?