How African Countries Compare to One Another

scoring africa

The African continent is home to 54 countries ranging from prosperous ones to countries that are plagued by violence and extreme poverty.

The chart above shows how African countries compare with one another, taking into account different indicators such as human rights, education, the state of the economy, political stability, the diversity and size of its population, and access to healthcare.

Countries with the highest score (best) include Mauritius, South Africa, and Seychelles. Countries with the lowest score (worst) include Somalia and Chad. In between these two extremes there are a wide range of countries performing well in some areas, and not so well in others.

Source: PolicyMic: This Awesome Interactive Map Will Make You Think Twice About Africa

 

The Higher Cost of Higher Education

higher-education-international-studentsStudying abroad can be very expensive, specially if you are looking at universities in Australia or the United States.

The average cost of higher education for international students is very high in Australia, where a student is expected to pay a total of $38,516 in annual fees and cost of living. Australia is followed by the U.S. where the average cost of one year of higher education is estimated at $35,705. Other countries with a steep tab on higher education include the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

On the other hand, more affordable higher education can be found in Germany, where the average cost of one year of college annual fees plus cost of living is estimated at $6,285. Other countries with affordable higher education include Spain, Taiwan, China, and Russia.

Source: International Business Times- International Students: Higher Education Is Really Inexpensive In Germany, But Not In The US [CHARTS]

 

Women in the Workforce by Country

women and equality worldIt has been said, that if women participated in the workforce more actively, like their male counterparts, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of those countries would be higher.

However, most countries, including some developed nations do not have policies in place that support women’s participation in the workforce, such as access to education, credit, employment, paid maternity leave or child care.

Countries with the highest economic success for women (measured in terms of equality of pay, degree of inclusion in the workforce, and career advancement), that offer the best policies for supporting women in the workforce include Norway, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, and Iceland.

Countries with the lowest degree of economic success that have few policies (or none) that support women in the workplace include Chad, Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, among others.

women and equality world 2Some interesting facts about the success of women in the workplace and the policies in place to support them in certain countries can be seen in the graphic above.

Source: Harvard Business Review: Vision Statement: Women and the Economics of Equality

 

The World as 100 People

In this interesting infographic, created by Jack Hagley, we take a look at the world as if the total population of the world was 100 people. The information presented covers topics such as the distribution of gender, information, spoken languages, literacy, religion, age, housing, water, nutrition, and population inhabiting each continent.

 

Expected Years of Schooling for Females Worldwide

The expected years of schooling for females varies from country to country.

Developed nations such as the United States, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, etc., show the highest number of expected years of schooling (15 to 21 years) for girls. Other nations in this group include Argentina, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Libya, and South Korea.

On the other hand, countries with the lowest number of expected years of schooling (0 to 8 years) for females include most African countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea.

Resource: The World Bank DataBank: Gender Statistics – Expected years of schooling for females

Education Expenditure vs. Military Expenditure

This visualization by the Deutsche Welle, shows how much is spent in education versus how much is spent in the military, as a percentage of the GDP, worldwide.

The dividing line denotes equal expenditure in both education and the military. Most countries seem to be concentrated on the left side of the line, meaning they spend more in education than in defense. Countries in this group include the United States, Iran, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Canada, etc. The country that immediately grabs our attention is Cuba, showing the highest expenditure in education (about 13% of its GDP) relative to its expenditure in defense (about 4% of its GDP). Lesotho follows Cuba very closely.

On the right side of the dividing line, we have the nations spending more on the military relative to education spending. Countries in this group include: Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Israel, etc. It is worth noting that Oman shows the highest expenditure in defense (close to 12% of its GDP) relative to its expenditure in education (about 4% of its GDP). Saudi Arabia and Qatar follow Oman closely.

For more visualizations of education indicators worldwide, visit: Deutsche Welle: In Numbers: Education Around the World

 

The Top 10 Challenges for India

India is a country with extraordinary problems due to the size of its population. At the same time, it has extraordinary potential which may be realized if it can implement some major changes best identified in a paper released by Goldman Sachs in 2008 (PDF). According to the study, there are ten key areas where reform is needed:

  1. Improve governance
  2. Raise educational achievement
  3. Increase quality and quantity of universities
  4. Control inflation
  5. Introduce a credible fiscal policy
  6. Liberalize financial markets
  7. Increase trade with neighbors
  8. Increase agricultural productivity
  9. Improve infrastructure
  10. Improve environmental quality

I believe the only controversial item in the list above may be number six, given the disastrous effects that financial market deregulation had in the US in recent years. Nevertheless, the nine other recommendations are still highly relevant and fundamentally sound. Do you agree?