We are very excited to announce that the results of the surveys we have been running on the site are now available in our new Global Surveys section. We started by asking our visitors the following questions:
How big of a problem is police corruption in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is corruption in the justice system in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is government corruption in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is drug-related crime in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is violence against women in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is air pollution in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is discrimination against women in the workplace in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is racial discrimination in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is religious discrimination in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is lack of access to quality health care in the country where you live?
How big of a problem is lack of access to quality primary and secondary public education in the country where you live?
The answers we received have given us a new understanding about the perceptions that ordinary citizens have regarding some of the most pressing problems of our time.
The Pew Research Center released today the results of its assessment of global restrictions on religion. A team of researchers combed through multiple sources of information to record concrete reports about government policies and actions, as well as specific incidents of religious violence or intolerance by social groups. One of the outcomes of the study is the thematic map shown above, which displays the level of government restrictions on religion as of December of 2011. The level is represented by the darkness of the color. The darker the color, the higher the level of government restrictions. The map shows that the Middle East and North Africa have many countries where governments restrict religion. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran top the list of countries with very high government restrictions. China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Russia also stand out due to the policies and actions of their governments.
We launched today a new state comparison section which allows you to get high-level side by side comparisons of any two states in the United States of America. The data behind the comparisons comes from the United States Census Bureau. Here are some examples of popular comparisons:
One of our visitors asked us if we had statistics on condom imports so we started looking through our trade section and found the data somewhat hidden under the category “sheath contraceptives of vulcanised rubber”. Anyway, the graph below shows the top 25 countries ranked by the value of their condom imports. You may also want to check our data on condom exports. Are you surprised by the rankings?
For anyone who spends a significant part of their day working online, there is nothing more frustrating than having to use a slow internet connection. There are countries where slow internet connections are a thing of the past though, as shown by the household download index compiled by Ookla using data from Speedtest.net. According to the latest data, the countries with the fastest residential internet are Hong Kong, Singapore, and Lithuania. In Hong Kong, the average download speed is now a blistering 44.06 Mbps. Contrast that speed with the download speed in the countries with the slowest residential internet, namely Botswana, Uzbekistan, and Benin, where download speeds do not exceed 1 Mbps. How fast is your internet connection? You can check it using the meter at Speedtest.net
Using data from Eurostat, we identified the top 10 European countries with the highest government debt as a percentage of GDP. The chart above shows that as of the third quarter of 2012, the latest period for which quarterly data is available, Greece, Italy, and Portugal had the highest government debt ratio. Ireland was close behind Portugal, with a ratio that has been increasing at the fastest rate out of all the countries in the list. Cyprus, which has been in the news lately due to problems in its banking sector, had a debt ratio not much higher than Germany.