Saturday, April 21, 2012

Who's Winning At Life

So the Olympics are less than 100 days away. If you don't know how much I like that fact, you clearly were not around way back at this blog's earliest days, when I ran Olympic articles for the entire duration of the Games. (That probably will not happen this time. Probably. Though I make no promises.)

But that's sports. A huge source of national pride, but... sports. They don't give medals out for the things countries try to strive for on a day-to-day basis. Today we'll see what we can do about that. We're going to take some statistical categories, and list what are the top three countries in each. Pretty simple.

LIFE EXPECTANCY (according to the 2011 CIA World Factbook)
Gold: Monaco
Silver: Macau
Bronze: San Marino

GLOBAL PEACE INDEX (according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, 2011)
Gold: Iceland
Silver: New Zealand
Bronze: Japan

MOST UN PEACEKEEPING TROOPS (2010) (not quite as noble as the other categories, but felt like tossing it in)
Gold: Bangladesh
Silver: Pakistan
Bronze: India

CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX (according to Transparency International, 2011)
Gold: New Zealand
Joint silver: Denmark
Joint silver: Finland

INCOME EQUALITY (according to the CIA's Gini Index; low numbers are better)
Gold: Sweden
Silver: Montenegro
Bronze: Hungary

EMPLOYMENT RATE (according to OCED, 2010)
Gold: Switzerland
Silver: Iceland
Bronze: Norway

GENDER EQUALITY (according to Global Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum, 2011) (PDF)
Gold: Iceland
Silver: Norway
Bronze: Finland

Gold: Norway
Silver: Australia
Bronze: Netherlands

GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS INDEX (according to World Economic Forum, 2011-12)
Gold: Switzerland
Silver: Singapore
Bronze: Sweden

BIOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT (according to Global Footprint Network; the statistic used here is 'ecological remainder', which measures how well countries live within their nation's ecological means)
Gold: Guyana
Silver: Gabon
Bronze: Bolivia

Gold: Italy
Silver: Spain
Bronze: China

ACCOUNT BALANCE (according to CIA World Factbook, 2011)
Gold: China
Silver: Saudi Arabia
Bronze: Germany

NATIONAL STABILITY (according to Failed States Index, 2011)
Gold: Finland
Silver: Norway
Bronze: Sweden

Of course, plenty of nations have gotten a gold medal in something or other, as this map indicates. Just, not always good things.

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