Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Comparing Countries

This is kind of a sequel to my post from yesterday.

I love the NationMaster website. It's great for comparing countries.

I'm going to post a few interesting things that I find.

1. Comparing the per capita economic aid donated to other countries in need:

Luxembourg is number one. Very giving people. Denmark is number two. Aren't these also the people who helped Jews during World War II? Remember that book by Lois Lowry? Number the Stars

Australia comes in at #16. United States comes in at #19.

2. Australia wins for most organic cropland per capita. Go Australia!

United States is way below at #23.

3. Columbia and South Africa are the murder capitals of the world.

The United States is #24. Australia is way below at #43.  I would never guess that from reading The Sydney Morning Herald.  From reading that, I sometimes get the impression that everyone is running around stabbing each other.

4. Yikes. Australia is #3 when it comes to rape. Maybe THAT'S what I'm reading about in the news. United States is #9. Saudi Arabia is at the bottom of the list. I wonder if this is because there really is less rape, or is it more about a difference in definition? Or perhaps people are less likely to report it. I guess it could also be that punishments are more severe so less people do it.

5. Norway gave the most money per capita to Tsunami Aid. Australia comes in at #3. United States comes in at #19.

6. Australia has the highest coal consumption per capita. United States comes in at #5. Wow. What's with all the coal?

7. Singapore has the highest per capita oil consumption. The United States is at #5. Australia is at #14.

8. Qatar has the highest CO2 emissions per capita. United States is #5 and Australia is #8. Shame on all of us.

9. If you like forests, go to Suriname. It has the most forest space per capita. Australia is at #5. Another reason for me to love Australia. I love forests! The United States is at #44.

10. The United States has the worst carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels. Australia is sadly #2. And we're both obese too. Maybe bad breathing air makes people eat a lot. Or maybe we can't exercise well, because we're gasping for breath too much.

11. Luxembourg has the highest alcohol consumption. Ah, maybe this is why they are so generous! They get drunk and then donate lots of money. Australia with its reputation of being grog lovers is down at #14. The United States is at #20, but there's not much of a difference. Australia consumes 9.8 litres per capita. United States consumes 8.3

12. United States has the most McDonalds. Yuck (Jack told me to say that! But I agree with him!) Australia comes in at #4.

13. Denmark eats the most pork. Interesting. They saved the Jews who are not supposed to eat Pork. And now these Danish people eat the most pork. That seems to have such a deep important meaning. Profound. Australia is at #14. United States is at #12.

14. If you don't like crowds, move to Greenland. It has the highest amount of land per capita. Australia is at #4. Another reason I love it so much. Holy crap! The United States is at #54.

15. Russia has the most Abortions. The United States comes in at #6. Australia isn't on the list.

16. Austria (NOT Australia) has the highest percentage of smokers. How can you smoke when you're trying to sing Edelweiss. It makes no sense! Here is something to make me happy to be American. The USA is close to the bottom of the list at #29. For those who think this is a reason for me not to want to move to Australia. Australia is just two notches up. So there!

17. If you want a long life, you should have been born in Andorra. I think that is that tiny little country near Spain or France. Australia is #11 when it comes to life expectancy--not so much so if you're an Aborigine. The United States is #44.

18. For those of us who believe the United States is full of plastic vain people, we come in at #19 per capita for plastic surgery. Australia is #7. I'm SHOCKED! Switzerland is #1. What???!!! Seriously though, it might not just be about vanity. The plastic surgery could include children with craniofacial disorders.

19. The Netherlands has the most Internet users per capita. Cool! Australia comes in at #5. United States is #9.

20. If you like to take breaks from work to relax and actually enjoy life, than don't move to Japan. It has the highest percentage of employed people working longer than 40 hours a week. The United States (surprise surprise) comes in at #2. Australia comes in at #10.

21. If you want to find more people like me--people who start blogs saying they want to become another nationality, move to Japan. It has the highest percentage of people who are not proud of their nationality. The United States is #17. Australia is not even listed.

22. Ireland is the proudest of their nation. United States comes next and then Australia. I'm very proud to be an American who loves Australia. Oh and yes. I love America too. I can love two countries. There's enough room in my heart.

23. Do you want to be trusted? Then move to Norway, Sweden, or Denmark. They have the highest percentage of people who believe that other people can be trusted. United States is at #8 and Australia is at #10.

That's it for now.


  1. I love learning stuff from your blog. These were very interesting.

  2. Regarding the rape stats, I'd say it has to do with the level of acceptance in society to report rape, which is related to a nation's view of sexuality.

    Australians are fairly liberal in their views, so there is less shame about sex, and therefore less shame about reporting rape.

    Americans tend to be more conservative about sex which leads to greater shame about sexual activity and less reporting of rape.

    Saudi Arabia is highly conservative and has Sharia. A person is very unlikely to report rape if there is a possibility that they could be executed for 'promiscuity'.

    Regarding coal use in Oz: it's cheap and plentiful. We've got a lot of coal in the ground. There is also a reluctance in the general population to use nuclear power. And the start up cost of solar is comparatively high.

  3. Stephen,

    I agree with you about the rape. And I don't know much about coal, so I'll just take your word for it.

  4. I've got to go with Stephen on the rape stats. And I think you'll find in some of the countries that the wife is chattel and doesn't have the right to say 'no'. And there is still a real stigma in some societies.

    Lots of interesting stats there in your post though. :)

  5. Hello, Dina! I've missed you on LJ. I'll visit you here for awhile.

  6. Bettina:

    I agree with you about the rape. I think you have to take ALL the statistics with a grain of salt. It's really hard to know for sure. One thing I noticed about some of the statistics on the website is they were taken at different times. So for example, in some areas, you might be looking at Australia 2005, compared to the United States in 1996.

    Jim: Hi!! I've missed you too!!! How have you been????

  7. Yikes! and here I was blaming California for being Barbie and Ken country...geez no wonder Aussies look so good LOL

  8. p.s now that I am free to have a life again-woohoo-I noticed that AUSTRALIA is coming out at the end of this month which I'm hoping to catch...I know you're such a fan of Nicole Kidman and all but it IS made by Baz! so...not sure when it hits the states but when you do see it make sure you let me know what you thought!

  9. mscherrylane:

    LOL. You definitely gave me the best laugh of my day.

    I doubt I will see Australia when it comes out. I rarely see movies. The only ones I really make any sort of effort for is Harry Potter.

    I MIGHT see Australia at the theater if it gets super amazing reviews and is the movie of the year or something. I'll feel an obligation...probably.

    I still need to see The Dark Knight.

    I know I'm pathetic.

  10. I go with Stephen on rape stats and coal.

    Re media reports of murders, that's because they are unusual, so they are more newsworthy!

    Re forests, not sure how they define them. There are lots of "woodlands" in outback areas that might be classified as forests, but wouldn't match your definition.

    As for population density, if you excluded the coastal areas Australia is pretty crowded, especially on the east coast.

  11. Michael,

    True about the news. That's why I often try to avoid it--especially local news stuff. They always concentrate so much on the negative.

    Sydney seemed well-populated, but it still seemed less crowded to me than the United States. I'm not sure if statistics would prove me right, or if it was just perception.

    We were in San Francisco a few months before Sydney and San Francisco seemed much more crowded.

    I wonder if there's a website that gives population density of big cities. That would be hard to calculate though because a lot of people might be tourists.

    I do feel Australia is a better place to find solitude in nature. But I could be wrong.

  12. What a great writeup! NationMaster is a very interesting site, allowing you to compare directly different countries. Not that it would have changed my decision on moving to Australia, but it gives you a better idea of what to expect when you get there.

    I look forward to reading more!



  13. Stefan,

    Hi! Merry Early Christmas ; )

    I think Nationmaster is loads of fun. I can spend a whole day on there.

    I'm not sure it helps in expectations. What we experience is not always what the statistics show.

    When I was in Sydney, it seemed to me that people were smoking EVERYWHERE. It seemed Australia was way behind Americans in the whole stop-smoking agenda. But looking at the statistics, there really isn't much different. It could have just been that by some twist of fate, I ended up encountering a lot of smokers.

    Although maybe if I had read the statistics beforehand, my perception would have been influenced by that.

    Who knows.....

  14. Hey I'm pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of singapore medical clinics. When I last visited singapore, they used to take so long to attend to the queues. Now its so much faster.

  15. Arron,

    Cool! Do you have a strong interest in Singapore?

  16. What an interesting post! I love learning the stats of other countries. Thanks!

  17. Liana,

    Thanks! It was a fun post to write....and research : )

  18. WOW I'm so glad you mentioned you noticed that so many people smoke in Sydney! I kept thinking it was just me being subjectively negative! THANKS for vindicating me...why the hell Sydneysiders smoke so much is beyond me(maybe it really is a stressful place to live)...I so need to find out how America got the "stop smoking" message across- graphic ads of dying people and diseased organs obviously aren't working!!! :P

  19. Dina,

    Do you think that I should really do what Sweedish people do?

  20. Jack,

    I think you should do what Jack does!!

    Well, minus picking at your fingers and nails.

    I love you!!