Friday, June 15, 2007

Where we rank

So where do you think we rank against the world in production, consumption, military spending, adult literacy, doctors and hospital about Olympic medals and Noble prizes? The Economist Magazine just put out their annual "how the world ranks" book and it surprised me ... a little.

I love the Economist. I'm a political junkie and love foreign/world politics. So of course as soon as I got my subscription in the mail, I ripped open the plastic cover and devoured the stats in less than an hour. Most of it is what you would expect. Germany was in the top ten in Beer Consumption. France in the top 5 for wine. African nations ranked highest in infant mortality rates and AIDS but not too surprisingly, they also ranked highest in clean air.

Ireland did not rank on the list for Top Beer or Alcohol consumption. So much for the whiskey, Guiness lovers. In their defense, I think the caveat on the stat was skewed against them. It didn't count consumption per capita but sales per capita. Either way, they claim they're up there.

Switzerland and the US tied at 28 for defense spending. If you can believe that. We spend 3.8% of our GDP on defense. North Korea spends the most at 25% and China spends 10%.
Funny enough if you compare that to how much we spend on medical care (12%) and education (5.7%), it makes me wonder how our military is so spectacular but our education system is dismal. Theoretically, it should be the other way around.

Our divorce rates are comparable at 50% (not the high 80s like my family thought) but so are our marriage rates. And our crime rates didn't even make the list! That makes me feel much safer than the news.

I'm working out of the library today since we're in the process of moving so I'll stop here. But if you get the chance to check out the stats. You should.

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