Stats, stats, stats…

by Chris Bertram on August 27, 2003

I’ve just wasted spent an entertaining half-hour or so at, a stats site that allows you to compare nations on just about every dimension, generate graphs etc. I started looking for comparative stats on the UK and Ireland (interesting, Ireland has a higher GDP per capita but scores lower on the Human Development Index). Anyway, there’s lots to play with, though I’m not sure how reliable it all is. Spain seems to be – by a mile – the robbery capital of Europe and North Korea has the world’s highest military expenditure as a percentage of GDP. The “Probability of not reaching [the age of] 40” list makes interesting and sobering reading: you have to get as far as the 35th country in the list (Haiti) to find anywhere outside Africa.



Bob 08.27.03 at 1:34 pm

For many purposes, a more manageable source may be: OECD in Figures 2002, at:


James Russell 08.27.03 at 1:41 pm

What an amazing site. I wouldn’t have picked Singapore as the second biggest military spender in the world. I wouldn’t have picked Israel to top the list, either, although I’m somehow not surprised by that. Singapore, though…


Chris 08.27.03 at 1:46 pm

You need to insert a “per capita” in there James!


James Russell 08.27.03 at 1:50 pm

Ah. Yes. Forgot the per capita bit. I suppose I can stop wondering who Singapore is trying to defend themselves against :)


Matthew 08.27.03 at 2:33 pm

Ireland’s GDP per capita is about 25% higher (according to the Economics & Social Research Institute) than its GNP per capita. On the former it’s now much richer than the UK, on the latter it’s only slightly richer (130% of EU average v 103).

A few years’ ago I had a discussion with Martin Wolf abot Ireland’s GDP growth rates, where we both noticed that if Ireland could continue its 7% or so annual growth for just 4 more years it would be richer per capita than the United States. The obvious conclusion was that it wouldn’t, and it hasn’t, but it still this year and next is expected to outpace the UK by some way.


aretino 08.28.03 at 8:54 pm

You may have to go as far as 35th in the probability of not reaching 40 list becasue the data set for that item does not include Afghanistan, Armenia, Iraq, or North Korea.


pathos 08.29.03 at 3:29 am

Can someone please explain the tax structure in the Vatican to me?


France 12.12.03 at 9:41 pm is a similar site, but it also has content in Spanish, French, and English.

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