I checked five different indices of freedom and democracy provided by various researchers. My initial idea was to show the top 10 ranking countries of every index. However, the USA does not manage into the top 10 anywhere. So, I checked what countries rank better than the USA on those indices. Apparently its neighbour Canada, The Netherlands – one of the oldest democracies in the world, also New Zealand, Denmark and Switzerland rank better on all five indices. Countries like Estonia, Taiwan and Uruguay rank better on 3. Fund fact – the United Arab Emirates, one obviously not-so-free country ranks better than the USA on Economic Freedom Index.
So, If we talk about FREEDOM we talk about THE NETHERLANDS.
What: Difference in ranking compared to the USA on the following indices. Index, When, Source: Democracy Index, 2019, EIU Human Freedom Index, 2017, The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom Economic Freedom Index, 2020, The Heritage Foundation Moral Freedom Index, 2020, The Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty Press Freedom Index, 2020, Reporters Without Borders Where: 172 countries were ranked on at least 3 of these indices.
They’re doing well on the internet. China’s Tencent and Alibaba are among the top 10 for 4 years already.
What: Non-USA companies that are in the top 10 public traded companies by market capitalization every year. Saudi Aramco is not included, because only a small fraction of its shares are traded publicly. When: 1997-2020Q2 Where: I hope it’s the whole world except the USA. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_public_corporations_by_market_capitalization
After seeing that military spending has no visible relation to deaths in most regions I decided to investigate the special relation the USA has with the wars in the East.
Some major wars in the East are indicated on the chart. During those, the military expenditure of the USA seems to climb up. Data for deaths are available only from 1980, and I filtered out only the relevant region.
Is the USA the reason for those deaths? Or are those people just fighting among themselves, and the USA just gets involved? Does it worsens the situation, or improves? I’ll leave those questions open for now.
What: Military expenditure in constant USD + Deaths due to Conflict and Terrorism. When: Expenditure: 1949-2018, Deaths: 1980-2017 Where: Expenditure: USA only, Deaths: Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation for deaths + Stockholm International Peace Research Institute for expenditure.
Well, there are some areas where the USA dominates the world. For example, they collect the majority of the money we spend on movies because they have Hollywood. They had almost half of one million most popular websites on the internet. Also, USD is the most traded world currency which takes almost half of the total traded value. Having in mind that one act of currency exchange requires two currencies we can safely assume, that almost all trades involved USD from one side or another.
Surprisingly (at least for me) it does not have the largest army, it is not the biggest CO2 producer, not the biggest car producer. Do you know any other indicators where the USA dominates the world?
What, When, Source: GDP in constant 2010 USD, 2018, WB Daily average of OTC foreign exchange turnover, 2019, BIS Market capitalization of stock exchanges by country, December 2019, WFE Military expenditure in constant 2017 USD, 2018, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 945 472 of one million Alexa’s top-ranked websites by country, 2012, pingdom.com Total worldwide box office by country of movie production, 2019, the-numbers.com – very unreliable data, as written in the source itself – beta version.
Apparently those large provinces where Tibetans and Uyghurs live are scarcely populated and less developed, so they contribute only a tiny fraction to the population and GDP in China. All other autonomous regions are inhabited mostly by Han Chinese who make more than half of the population there. Mongolia does not look like Mongolia when only 17% of inhabitants are Mongols.
A bit of sadness after seeing this.
What: Population, GDP in current USD, area in km2, ethnic composition and Human Development Index. When: 2017 Where: Mainland China and its autonomous regions. Mainland China does not include Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Source: All data was found on Wikipedia. Let’s hope it’s correct.
We knew what to expect here, but it’s interesting to see it. The only thing unexpected to me is that South Korea has significantly more people. I thought it’s only a bit more.
What: 4 different indicators indicated on the infographic. HDI for North Korea was adjusted because the methodology has changed since its HDI was last published. When: Most indicators are for 2018, but the scarcity of data for North Korea forced me to use varying years for HDI and GDP. Where: The 2 Koreas Source: CIA, UNDP, UESCAP, W, WB, EIU and https://countryeconomy.com
I am not sure if everyone is aware that there are 5 countries in this world where the majority of people could be considered Chinese. How different are those Chinas? The people’s Republic of China is the biggest one, however it is less developed compared to other Chinas, and infamously less democratic. Hong Kong, Singapore and Macao are 100% urban populations because those Chinas are basically one-city countries. The Republic of China better known as Taiwan seems like a normal usual country – not too big, not too small.
To understand better differences between these countries, I encourage the reader to dive deeper into cultural, historical and even linguistic differences between these countries.
By the way, Australia, Canada, UK and USA are also very different countries!
What: 4 different indicators indicated on the infographic When: Time varies between 2017 and 2018 for different indicators and different Chinas Where: The 5 Chinas Source: CIA, UNDP, W, WB, IMF, EIU – most sources did not provide data for all 5 Chinas, so the data for one indicator might be gathered from various sources or even estimated by the author.
After debunking “America is the country of freedom” myth, I tried to debunk “Thailand is the country of smiles” myth. As it happens, Gallup, while doing research for their emotional indices asked people did they smile or laugh yesterday. And this data reveals that Thailand indeed could be called the country of smiles – its result is among the best in the world, however, its poorer brother Laos does better on this list.
But the whole Southeast Asia is indeed the region of smiles!
By the way, where is the secret of Nigeria? Is it Nollywood?
What: Percentage of people who replied that they smiled or laughed yesterday on an interview on emotions. When: 2018 Where: 143 countries of the world Source: Gallup