The United States: Not a bad country to live in…

A few comparative statistics. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Infant Mortality rate:

Rank Country Infant mortality rate
(deaths/1,000 live births)
1 Angola 180.21
2 Sierra Leone 154.43
3 Afghanistan 151.95
4 Liberia 138.24
5 Niger 116.66
219 Hong Kong 2.92
220 Japan 2.79
221 Sweden 2.75
222 Bermuda 2.46
223 Singapore 2.31

In the United States, infant mortality is 630 per 100,000 live births or 6.3 per 1000 live births.[25][26]

Source: World Factbook

Literacy rate:

Cuba: 99.8%

Canada: 99%

UK: 99%

US: 99% 

Source: CIA World Factbook

In a 2006 report by the US Department of Education that showed that there has been no statistically significant improvement in U.S. adult literacy since 1993. These studies assert that 46% to 51% of U.S. adults read so poorly that they earn “significantly” below the threshold poverty level for an individual.

During the same period, the US Central Intelligence Agency‘s World Factbook [7] published that the United States had a 99% literacy rate based on census data.

Firearm Related Death rate: per 100,000 population in one year

Brazil 14.15 [1993]

US: 15.22 [2004]

Canada: 4.78 [1992]

Greece:1.5 [1994]

England 0.46 [2002]

Japan: 0.07 [1994]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

Average life expectancy

Japan: 82

Australia: 81.2

France 80.7

Greece 79.5

UK: 79.4

US: 78.2

Source: CIA Factbook 2009

% 0f the population living in poverty

“Poverty” defined as an economic condition of lacking both money and basic necessities needed to successfully live, such as food, water, education, healthcare, and shelter.

Lithuania: 4%

Latvia: 5.9%

Austria: 6%

France: 6.2%

Ireland: 6.8%

Germany 11%

USA: 12%

Vietnam: 12.3%  

Source: UNDP & CIA World Factbook

% of the population with a university degree:

Japan 26%
Portugal 25%
U.K. 24%
Australia 23%
Switzerland 23%
Denmark 23%
Ireland 21%
New Zealand 21%
France 20%
Iceland 19%
Korea 18%
Belgium 18%
Sweden 18%
Slovak Rep. 18%
Poland 17%       
USA 17%
Mexico 14%
Source USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2006-09-06-higher-education_x.htm

Corruption Index:

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) table shows a country’s ranking and score, the number of surveys used to determine the score, and the confidence range of the scoring. Source: http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2009/cpi_2009_table

Rank Country/Territory CPI 2009 Score Surveys Used Confidence Range
1 New Zealand 9.4 6 9.1 – 9.5
2 Denmark 9.3 6 9.1 – 9.5
3 Singapore 9.2 9 9.0 – 9.4
3 Sweden 9.2 6 9.0 – 9.3
5 Switzerland 9.0 6 8.9 – 9.1
6 Finland 8.9 6 8.4 – 9.4
6 Netherlands 8.9 6 8.7 – 9.0
8 Australia 8.7 8 8.3 – 9.0
8 Canada 8.7 6 8.5 – 9.0
8 Iceland 8.7 4 7.5 – 9.4
11 Norway 8.6 6 8.2 – 9.1
12 Hong Kong 8.2 8 7.9 – 8.5
12 Luxembourg 8.2 6 7.6 – 8.8
14 Germany 8.0 6 7.7 – 8.3
14 Ireland 8.0 6 7.8 – 8.4
16 Austria 7.9 6 7.4 – 8.3
17 Japan 7.7 8 7.4 – 8.0
17 United Kingdom 7.7 6 7.3 – 8.2
19 United States 7.5 8 6.9 – 8.0

World Happiness Index rating:

A report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), a Paris-based group of 30 countries with democratic governments that provides economic and social statistics and data, used a Gallup World Poll conducted in 140 countries around the world. The poll asked respondents whether they had experienced six different forms of positive or negative feelings within the last day. The poll was scored numerically on a scale of 1-100. The average score was 62.4. Denmark ranked # one with a score of 90.1. The US, with a score of 74, did not make the top ten list.
The study reveals that factors contributing most to contentment are: economic health, work-life balance, and low unemployment.

Here is the top ten list of happiest countries:

Country Score
1.Denmark 90.1
2.Norway 85.9
3.Netherlands 85.1
4.Sweden 82.7
5.Iceland 81.1
6.Canada 78.0
7.Switzerland 77.4
8.New Zealand 76.7
9.Norway 76.5
10.Belgium 76.3

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About stevehollier

Steve Hollier is the editor of AZ Magazine, an English language lifestyle magazine based in Baku, Azerbaijan. He began his career working for a firm of stockbrokers in the City of London then went on to attend the University of Essex where he was awarded an MA in Sociology in 1984. After a career in arts and cultural development work, he became a freelance arts consultant, writer and photographer.
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