The Economic Freedom Index 2013

economic freedom index

The Economic Freedom Index, compiled by the Heritage Foundation, is a measure of the economic freedom given to citizens in each of the 185 countries where it is measured. A total of ten components of economic freedom are considered, all grouped under four categories: rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency, and open markets.

The highest ranking country in the list is Hong Kong, with a score of 89.3, affording its citizens the highest degree of economic freedom in the world. Hong Kong is followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Denmark, and the United States, among the top ten.

On the opposite side, the most repressed countries in terms of economic freedom include North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Eritrea, and Burma.

Source: International Business Times: US Economic Freedom Is At Lowest Point Since 2000 [MAP]

 

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]

 

The 50 Largest Ports in the World

worlds 50 largest portsEvery day finished goods and commodities are transported  by sea in shipping containers from one port to another across the globe. Standard shipping containers measure 20 feet long by eight feet wide, hence they receive the name of “Twenty-foot Equivalent Units” or TEUs.

The largest port in the world is in Shanghai (China) which saw a volume of 31.74 million TEUs of cargo freight passing through its port in 2011. Shanghai is followed by Singapore (Singapore) which saw a volume of 29.94 million TEUs passing through its port for the same year. Singapore is followed by Hong Kong, Shenzhen (China), Busan (South Korea), Ningbo, Guangzhou, and Qingdao (China), Dubai Ports (United Arab Emirates), and Rotterdam (Netherlands), all in the top ten.

For the interactive map, that allows you to explore each one of the largest 50 ports in the world, visit: The Smithsonian: Interactive: The 50 Largest Ports in the World

 

The Best and Worst Places to be Born in 2013

Back in 1988, the United States was ranked first as the best country to be born. Twenty five years later, the U.S. is ranked number 16.

The Economist Intelligence Unit compiled the where-to-be-born index which measures which country will provide the best opportunities to someone born in 2013. It links the results of life satisfaction surveys to indicators that affect the quality of life in those countries, such as geography, demographics, culture, government policies, the economy, etc.

Based on those factors, the best places to be born are Switzerland, Australia followed by Norway, Sweden Denmark, and Singapore. At the bottom of the list you will find Nigeria, Kenya, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Angola, Pakistan, among others.