Monday, September 24, 2012

Economist: Sweden not scared of the dragon

Sep 20th 2012, 15:35 by The Economist online

Some countries see an opportunity rather than a threat in China's economic rise
AS THE American presidential election looms, so the electioneering moves up a gear. This week on the campaign stump in carmaking, swing-state Ohio, President Obama announced that the government had filed a complaint against China at the World Trade Organisation for subsidising car-part exports. Mitt Romney accused the president of not going far enough. China, meanwhile, lodged a trade dispute of its own on the same day, alleging duties levied by America on Chinese steel, paper and other products are unfairly high. A Chinese spokesman later stated that China's complaint was lodged first, and that America's filing had a "political goal". Nonetheless, a tough China stance is likely to play well in the campaign. Most Americans see China as an economic threat, according to the recent Transatlantic Trends survey by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Indeed, of the 14 countries polled, only in France did a higher proportion view China as a threat. In contrast, despite being overtaken by China as the world's biggest exporter in recent years, more people in neighbouring Germany see China as an economic opportunity.

SVT Pejl: Income of Swedes - differences young and old


Monday, September 17, 2012

OECD: Education at a Glance 2012 - Key findings

Sweden not in Top Position in Information Rating

From: Global Right to Information Rating
Rating of Legal Framework for Right to Information in 90 Countries
The results of the world's first rating of RTI laws in 90 countries shows a significant spread: out of a possible total of 150 points, the range is from 39 points (Austria, one of 30 countries currently pending final review by national experts) to 135 points (Serbia).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flowing Data: How people are connected on Facebook, by country

How people are connected on Facebook, by country
September 11, 2012 to Mapping by Nathan Yau

As part of the Stories initiative that Facebook launched yesterday, an interactive map by Stamen Design shows how people are connected on Facebook, which offers a view into how countries are linked by language and history.

Economist: Healthy, wealthy and wise

Daily chart: Healthy, wealthy and wise | The Economist

Sep 11th 2012, 15:07 by The Economist online
A college education is good for your well-being and your wallet
THE benefits of education should not need spelling out. But the OECD’s "Education at a Glance 2012" report published on September 11th provides reams of statistics that do exactly that. It shows that college-educated people live over two years longer, are more likely to vote, and are more supportive of equal rights for minorities. But it is in the job market that the rewards are particularly pronounced. Across the OECD, the 4.7% unemployment rate for people with tertiary education is around one-third less than for those with only upper secondary education (which involves staying at school after the age of 15/16). And the longer one remains in education, the greater is the reward, as the chart below shows. Completing high school generates an extra $4,000 in net income a year on average, and completing college should give another $12,000 on top of that. A college education is most beneficial in America, adding almost $20,000 to income a year (even after tax and social-security contributions).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sweden number one in Web Index


What is the Web Index?

Designed and produced by the World Wide Web Foundation, the Web Index is the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations. It covers 61 developed and developing countries, incorporating indicators that assess the political, economic and social impact of the Web, as well as indicators of Web connectivity and infrastructure.

The 2012 Rankings

RankCountryScoreImpactReadinessThe Web
2United States of America97.3191.0794.98100
3United Kingdom93.8387.8694.0794.69

Index Report and Key Findings

Sweden is best in the world at putting the Web to work, beating the US and UK for the top spot. However, the Web remains a largely untapped resource in much of the world, the study shows, with only 1 in 3 people using it globally and fewer than 1 in 6 in Africa.

This report highlights some of the 2012 Web Index’s key findings and spotlights several surprise outcomes across the globe. It also provides an overview of the Web Index’s design, structure, and methodology.

WORD ECONOMIC FORUM: Sweden number four in Global Competitiveness


Oliver Cann, Associate Director, Media, Tel.: +41 (0)79 799 3405
  • Competitiveness gap widening among European countries
  • US remains world’s innovation powerhouse despite decline in overall ranking
  • People’s Republic of China most competitive among large emerging markets; India, Russia fall
  • Download the full report profiling 144 economies, highlights, rankings and more at
  • Watch the video interviews on the results of the report
Geneva, Switzerland, 5 September 2012 – Switzerland, for the fourth consecutive year, tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, released today by the World Economic Forum. Singapore remains in second position and Finland in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th). These and other Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with the Netherlands (5th), Germany (6th) and United Kingdom (8th). The United States (7th), Hong Kong (9th) and Japan (10th) complete the ranking of the top 10 most competitive economies.
The large emerging market economies (BRICS) display different performances. Despite a slight decline in the rankings of three places, the People’s Republic of China (29th) continues to lead the group. Of the others, only Brazil (48th) moves up this year, with South Africa (52nd), India (59th) and Russia (67th) experiencing small declines in rankings.Despite growing its overall competitiveness score, the United States continues its decline for the fourth year in a row, falling two more places to seventh position. In addition to the burgeoning macroeconomic vulnerabilities, some aspects of the country’s institutional environment continue to raise concern among business leaders, particularly the low public trust in politicians and a perceived lack of government efficiency. On a more positive note, the country still remains a global innovation powerhouse and its markets work efficiently.The report indicates that Switzerland and countries in Northern Europe have been consolidating their strong competitiveness positions since the financial and economic downturn in 2008. On the other hand, countries in Southern Europe, i.e. Portugal (49th), Spain (36th), Italy (42nd) and particularly Greece (96th) continue to suffer from competitiveness weaknesses in terms of macroeconomic imbalances, poor access to financing, rigid labour markets and an innovation deficit.

WHO - Global Health Observatory (GHO)


Maternal and reproductive health

Maternal mortality: Every day in 2010, about 800 women died due to complications of pregnancy and child birth, including severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortions. Out of the 800, 440 deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and 230 in Southern Asia, compared to five in high-income countries. The risk of a woman in a developing country dying from a pregnancy-related cause during her lifetime is about 25 times higher compared to a woman living in a developed country. Maternal mortality is a health indicator that shows very wide gaps between rich and poor, both between countries and within them.

Word Bank Indicators: Physicians (per 1,000 people)

Last updated: Sep 6, 2012

Physicians (per 1,000 people)
Physicians include generalist and specialist medical practitioners.
More info »

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Economist: The global debt clock

World debt comparison
Our interactive overview of government debt across the planet

The clock is ticking. Every second, it seems, someone in the world takes on more debt. The idea of a debt clock for an individual nation is familiar to anyone who has been to Times Square in New York, where the American public shortfall is revealed. Our clock (updated September 2012) shows the global figure for almost all government debts in dollar terms.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Economist: Crime rates and religious beliefs

From: Sep 3rd 2012, 13:05 by The Economist online

GOVERNMENTS labouring to deliver effective crime-prevention policies could do worse than consider divine deterrence. In a paper published this summer in PLoS ONE, Azim Shariff at the University of Oregon and Mijke Rhemtulla at the University of Kansas compared rates of crime with rates of belief in heaven and hell in 67 countries. Citizens of those countries were asked which of heaven and hell they believed in, and each country’s overall "rate of belief" was calculated by subtracting the percentage of hell-believers from that of heaven-believers. The researchers found that the degree to which each country’s citizens believed more strongly in heaven than in hell predicted higher national crime rates. It seems that believing more strongly in the forgiveness of sins than in punishment in the after-life may help pave the way for further transgressions. The researchers also noted that the proportion of people believing in heaven almost always outweighed the proportion believing in hell. So a little more preaching on the fiery furnace might be beneficial in this life, if not also the next.