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Demographic comparisons

Brazil Brazil
Hong Kong  300 37,000 42 13 88 68 25 57 29  96 Hong Kong
China 7,300 5,500 35 101 20 80 20 66 40 118 China
India 1,800 1,500 98 134 35 77 48 56 40 61 India
S Korea 1,000 23,000 100 12 68 60 18 39 85 75 S Korea
United States 15,000 50,000 52 4 114 40 91 62 46 29 United States

GDP – International Monetary Fund’s Gross Domestic Product. The value of all goods and services produced in that country. Our table shows the number of dollars in billions. The larger the number, the richer the country as a whole. The world GDP, all the countries added together, is 63,000 billion. Thus, the US is about one-fourth. The next three countries combined, China, Brazil, and India, don’t equal the U.S. However, the European Union (EU) slightly exceeds the U.S.

per cap – International Monetary Fund’s GDP per capita. While the GDP shows the size of the whole economy, the GDP per capita shows that same productivity per person (per capita). Our table shows the number of dollars (US$). The larger the number, the richer the people individually.

inc = – income equality. How equally is income distributed in your country? How great is the divide between rich and poor in your country? The U.N.’s GINI index measures that divide. A Gini index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality. The table shows the rank order for each country out of the 125 countries. The closer the rank number is to Namibia’s GINI of 74 and rank of #1, the greater the gap between rich and poor. Adjusting for the size of the country, countries on Namibia’s end have a lot of rich people and a lot of poor people. The countries with ranks numbers closer to Denmark’s GINI of 40 and rank of #125 don’t have as many rich people, but they have hardly any poor people.

HD – The United Nations’ Human Development Index combines three other indices: life expectancy, education, and wealth. The table shows the rank order number of each country. A rank closer to 1 means a longer life, more education, and greater wealth.

HP – The New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index combines subjective life satisfaction, life expectancy at birth, and ecological footprint per capita. The table shows the rank order number of each country for 2009, which includes more of our countries than the latest one. The lower the number, the “happier”.

Geert Hofstede is the prominent researcher in the field of cross-cultural characteristics. He has measured and compared most of the world’s countries on five dimensions of culture. The table shows each country’s score (always a number) for each of these dimensions, not its rank order.

Power Distance Index (PDI) “The extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.” – A higher score (larger number) indicates more distance.
Individualism (IDV) “On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.” A high score indicates a country that rewards individual behavior more than group behavior.
Masculinity (MAS) High scores indicate tough, competitive cultures; low scores indicate tender, nurturing, cooperative cultures.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) “Indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations.” High scores indicate societies that go to greater lengths to reduce uncertainly in people’s lives. Low scores indicate a society that is more tolerant of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Long-Term Orientation (LTO) Higher scores indicate more long-term orientation.


< 5 mat moth gen = wip
Hong Kong 0.94 8 82 4 56 n/a 72 n/a Hong Kong
China 1.06 12 75 19 56 18 69 21 China
India 1.08 21 67 63 540 75 40 11 India
S Korea 1.00 8 81 5 20 5 54 15 S Korea
United States 0.97 14 79 7 17 I-31 75 17 United States

sex ratio – CIA World Factbook’s Sex Ratio. Numbers below 100 mean there are more females than males, and vice versa.

For the three data points below, you can find basic demographic information at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Information Gateway. Choose your country from the drop-down list, and click submit.

crude birth rate – The number per 1,000 population.

life expectancy at birth – The number of years.

< 5 mortality rate – The number per 1,000 births who die before age 5.

I was curious about teen pregnancy rates, but I could not find data for all our countries in one place. However, I did find U.N. map and data for the developed countries (right). Click to enlarge.

maternal mortality – The Maternal Mortality Estimates (.pdf file) developed by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA. Maternal mortality ratio. The number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

mothers – Save the Children’s 20011 Mothers Index (.pdf file). The Best and Worst Places to be a Mother. Helps document conditions for mothers and children in 140 countries – 41 developed nations and 99 in the developing world – and shows where mothers fare best and where they face the greatest hardships. It has three tiers. Only the U.S. is in Tier I. The rest of our countries are in Tier II. Our table shows the rank of each country. The closer the rank is to 1, the better for mothers and children.

gender = –’s Gender Equality Index. The three dimensions included in the GEI are: economic activity, empowerment and education. A larger number, closer to Sweden’s 89, indicates more equality between men and women in these three dimensions.

WIP – Women in politics. Interparliamentary Union. What percentage of the legislators in your country are women? Our table shows the percentage of women in the lower or single legislature.


QoL hap teach prison hom c pun h care obes diab dr age alc ops pr ops can vac olym
H K 18 64 3.5 1.3 0.2 0 1 n/a 10 18 n/a 0.20 n/a 0.4 14 2,400
China 60 93 4.4 1.2 1.1 470 1 n/a 5 18 5.9 0.25 n/a n/a 5-15 300
India 73  111 3.1  .3  3.4 0 1 2 7 18 0.2 n/a n/a n/a 12 6,000
S K 30 41 3.1 .9 2.6 0 1 n/a 9 19 14.8 0.08 n/a  0.3 15 180
U S 13 17 5.8 7.1 5.0 42 3 44 10 21 9.4 5.90 5.60 13.7 none 120

QoL – The Economist’s 2010 Quality of Life Index. Our table shows the rank order number of each country out of 111 as an aggregate of nine quality of life factors. The lower the number, the higher the comparative quality.

hap – happiness – World Happiness Report 2013 published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Our table shows the rank order number of each country out of 156 as an aggregate of seven happiness factors. The lower the number, the higher the comparative quality. The report breaks down happiness into a base happiness and then the happiness added by other factors:

  • wealth
  • social support
  • health
  • freedom to make life choices
  • generosity
  • perceptions of corruption

teach – How many people are teachers? NationMasters’s Primary Teachers per Capita. The table show the number per 1,000, including full-time and part-time teachers, per capita, not per student.

prison – How many people are in prison? Wikipedia’s List of countries by incarceration rate, not including probation, parole, etc. The table show the number per 1,000. See also the NY Times interactive graphic.

hom – Wikipedia’s List of countries by homicide rate. The number per 100,000.

cap pun – capital punishment – the number of “verifiable judicial executions” in the last year: worldwide total: 1,514. Source: NationMaster’s Executions

health –  Wikipedia’s List of countries by health care coverage

  • 1 Nations with some type of universal health care system.
  • 2 Nations attempting to obtain universal health care.
  • 3 Nations with no universal health care.

obesity – percentage of adult male population with a BMI (Body Mass Index) ≥ 30 kg/m² – World Health Organization’s Global Infobase – International Comparisons

diabetes – percentage of population with Diabetes Mellitus – International Diabetes Federation’s Global Burden

aids – How bad is AIDS in your country? CIA World Factbook’s AIDS adult prevalence rate. Our table shows the percentage. Note that this list does not include children. The closer to 0, the less AIDS.

drinking age – What’s the legal drinking age? Wikipedia’s List of countries by legal drinking age.

alc – Wikipedia’s List of countries by alcohol consumption. Our table shows the number of liters of pure alcohol.

others: United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. Annual prevalence of use as percentage of population 15-64.

  • opioids – opium derivatives such as morphine and heroin
  • prescribed opioids – sedatives, anti-depressants, etc.
  • cannabis

vacation – How much paid vacation time must workers get? Wikipedia’s statutory minimum vacations. Our table shows the number of days of vacation required by law at a minimum, not including national holidays.

olymp – Olympic medals. Wikipedia’s All-time Olympic Games medal table. Our table shows persons per medal, that is, the number in thousands of people in the country now per both Summer and Winter Olympic medals all-time. The U.S. has the most medals, by far. But we also have a lot of people. I recognize that this is a spurious statistic, but interesting nonetheless.


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