Posts Tagged ‘Country Comparisons’

Global warming requires global action

March 28, 2019

Click to enlarge.  Source: The Conversation

We Americans have actually done quite a bit to cut back on greenhouse gas emission, as the chart above shows.

But while we and the other North Atlantic nations have been cutting back, China and other nations have been pumping out more.

The average Chinese doesn’t add all that much to global warming, compared to the average American.  But there are so many more Chinese than Americans that China as a nation does more heat up the world more than the USA does.

Click to enlarge. Source: The Conversation.

The problem is that, for now, the economic growth of China, India and the Global South in general requires more use of coal, oil and natural gas.  If I were Chinese or Indian, I would be unwilling to give up my hope of a better material standard of living while Americans and Europeans have so much more than I do and individually leave so larger a carbon footprint than I do.


If Black America were a separate nation …

October 21, 2014

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China leads the world in executions

October 21, 2014


Source: The Independent

Last year China executed more people, by far, than the rest of the world combined.

Which nation’s people are the most satisfied?

February 26, 2014
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Las year researchers from Pew Research Center once again asked a sampling of people from different countries, “Overall, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in our country?”

The map and chart indicate the percentage who answered, “Satisfied.”

The peoples who reported the most satisfaction were the Chinese (85%) and Malaysians (82%) and those who reported the least satisfaction were the Spanish (5%), Italians (3%) and Greeks. (2%).  We Americans were in the middle (31%).

What these surveys measure is not which countries are flourishing the best, but whether life in those countries measures up to expectations, which is different.

Hat tip to Business Insider and Marginal Revolution.

We’re number one! (and so are all the rest)

October 26, 2013


Select an area of the map and double click to enlarge it to read what each country leads in.

Click on DOGHOUSE DIARIES for the sources of the information and the basis of the comparisons.

Hat tip to Avedon’s Sideshow.

Slavery in the world today

October 22, 2013


Slavery is outlawed under international law and in most parts of the world, but there are still nearly 30 million slaves in the world today, according to the anti-slavery organization WalkFree.  These are literal, not metaphorical, slaves—forced laborers, child soldiers, forced prostitutes and others held in bondage.

Some are debt slaves, sold into slavery to pay their own or their parents’ debts.  Some are unauthorized immigrants, lured by false promises of a job and then trapped in a country where they have no legal rights.   Some are simply victims of force.

The map above shows the estimated number of slaves in each country.  Nearly half of the world’s slaves—an estimated 14 million people—are in India.   But few countries are completely without slaves, and the USA is not one of them.

The map below shows the estimated proportion of the population of each country that is enslaved—about one out of every 25 people in the nation of MauritiusMauritania, one out of 48 in Haiti.  The percentage of slaves in the United States is small, but that is still 60,000 people.  India is near the top in the prevalence of slavery as well as absolute numbers.


Click on Globalization and the world slave work force for a post on how global companies benefit from slave labor. [added 10/23/13]

Click on This map shows where the world’s 30 million slaves live | There are 60,000 in the U.S. for background by Max Fisher of the Washington Post.

Click on – The Movement to End Modern Slavery for more information and suggestions for action.   Hat tip to occasional links and commentary.

The comparative happiness of nations

September 18, 2013


The Washington Post last week published another of its country comparison maps, this one of the comparative happiness of nations, based on Gallup polls.  Like the others, it is fascinating but should be taken as an indicator rather than an exact measurement.

As I would have expected, people in nations with a high degree of material prosperity were on average happier than people in poor countries, and people in nations suffering invasion or civil war were less happy than people in nations blessed by internal peace.

These considerations appear to override religion.  The promise of Buddhism, for example, is that it offers a way to overcome unhappiness, yet Cambodia and war-torn Sri Lanka are among the unhappiness of nations, while peaceful Thailand is one of the happiest.

But there are interesting exceptions.  Latin American nations seem happier than their political and economic situations would lead me to expect.  Mexicans are in the same category as Americans and Canadians, while Brazilians and war-torn Colombians are on average as happy as Britons, French and Germans.

Click on A fascinating map of the world’s happiest and least happy countries for the full article by Caitlin Dewey for the Washington Post.


Washington Post maps that explain the world

August 27, 2013

Max Fisher of the Washington Post has compiled 40 interesting maps that do throw a lot of light on what’s going on in the world.   I linked to some of them in my posts on country comparisons of religion and IQ and racism and diversity.

You can click on 40 maps to see them all, starting with a geopolitical map of world powers as of 200 A.D. and ending with an interactive time-lapse map of the earth as seen from space over 12 months.

Many of the maps have links to accompanying Washington Post article.  If the video link above doesn’t work, you should be able to see the same video on the 40 maps link.

Racism and diversity: country comparisons

August 15, 2013

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Here is a Washington Post map showing the United States among the leading nations, and not in a bad way.

The United States is one of the nations in which the idea of racism is least acceptable.

That doesn’t mean that Americans are free of racial prejudice.  Far from it.  Surveys show that, all other things being equal, a black person is less likely than a white person to get a job—in fact, a white person with a criminal record has a better chance of getting a job than a comparable black person with a clean record.  Mayor Bloomberg of New York City justified singling out black people to “stop and frisk”.

Somebody took a video of a white person and a black person trying to break the chain on a locked bicycle.  Passers-by assumed that the white person had a legitimate reason and that the black person was a criminal.

Then, too, the question is over-simple as a measure of racism.  Southern white racists in an earlier era liked associating with black people, provided that the blacks were deferential and “knew their place.”

Still, I think it is significant that the idea of racism is no longer acceptable in the United States and many other countries.  I have lived long enough to remember when this wasn’t true.

It’s a bit surprising to me that people in India are so frank about not wanting to be around people of a different race.   I read somewhere that the Hindi word for “race” is similar to the word for “caste,” so maybe what the Indians were saying is that they don’t want to live next to somebody of a lower or different caste.

What does count as a race?  I imagine the answers reflect Jordanian Arabs’ feelings about Jews, and Vietnamese feelings about Chinese, even though outsiders might see them as members of the same race.

I have read that the Japanese value racial purity and treat Koreans and other minorities as second-class citizens.  Maybe the results would have been different if the question had been about what kinds of people you would tolerate marrying into your family.

Another Washington Post map, below, shows that ethnic diversity is not necessarily a cure for racism.


Religion and IQ: country comparisons

August 13, 2013

Update 2/4/2017.   The whole idea of measuring the average IQ of a whole country, even assuming that IQ tests are given to a representative cross-section of the population, is bogus.  I should have known better than to post this.  Read IQ: A Skeptic’s View by Fred Reed for Fred on Everything.

Update 10/4/2018.  I recommend a study entitled Cognitive Test Scores Measure Net Nutritional Status.  The authors link variations in IQ to nutrition, climate and other factors, and debunk the idea that variations in IQ are mainly genetic.


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Some psychologists at the University of Rochester did a review of surveys of religion and intelligence, mainly involving North American individuals, and concluded that religious people are less intelligent on average than non-religious people.  As these maps show, there is some evidence that the same variation exists among the world’s nations.


World IQ map. Source: James Thompson.  Click to enlarge.


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To assess the significance of these maps, you have to have an idea of just what it is that is measured on IQ tests (besides the ability to take IQ tests).

The great sociologist Peter Berger wrote that IQ is a measure of “modern consciousness,” which consists of the intellectual skills needed to function in a modern technological society.   That would explain why immigrants (including Jewish immigrants) to the 19th century United States on average had lower IQs than the natives, but the U.S.-born children of the immigrants were equal to or better than the natives.  It would explain why, during World War Two, Southern rural white men on average did worse on Army intelligence tests than Northern urban black men.  It would explain the Flynn Effect of rising IQ in each generation.

If Berger was right, it is non-modern forms of religion, not religion as such, that are correlated with lower IQ.  If he was right, IQ is not a measure of innate ability, but rather a measure of generational progress toward modernity.