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Measuring the World

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'The World in Figures'

Author Edward Hannis
Language English
Publication date 2009 in Flag of Lovia Small Lovia
Editions One (1st)
Genre Non-fiction > society, politics, economics
Media type Print (paperback and hardback)
Pages 193 pp
Rating(s) Three stars small The Lovian News
Preceded by none
Followed by none

Measuring the World is a Lovian non-fiction book by Edward Hannis that handles the question of how one can calculate the success of any country simply by looking at certain numbers, and what influence those numbers have, and what they mean for a country. The book was written in 2009, and is a total of 193 pages long. The book was written as to show how our world can be measured simply with basic figures that can translate to show almost anything about a nation.

Introduction Edit

The world is a complex one. Our world is divided into many countries, each with their own system of government (or lack of) and customs. These counties ally, trade, and go to war. Our world is one that communicates all the time, and our entire world relies on another part of the world. Of all these complicated systems, we have associated numbers. There are many, many statistics in this world. Be it common ones like population or area, or uncommon ones like the Failed State Index, these statistics can be associated with almost every part of our world. With these many numbers, one can measure a country. This “measure” is the mathematics of national success.

Part I: Population Edit

A country needs people to run. Nothing can happen without people to make it happen. Companies, employees, government, military, and anything else you can think of needs a good population to run. Empty countries will never work. Obviously enough, there is a limit to where population is a good thing. Although one could argue that even China has not reached this “overdose” of population, many economists suggest that a country cannot have too large of a population, and that this point has been reached.

The thing is, its not as much about if you have too many people, it is about who those people are. The elderly and the young are not people that contribute much to a country's growth. These people do not supply anything to national economy (in general; there are, of course, exceptions). For example, the country of Uganda. Currently, the median age in the country is 15. This would mean that most of the country is too young to do much good. It is not much of a wonder why there is so little success in many African nations; they do not have the people to provide support for their weak countries.

Another example is Japan, which has the highest median age for any major nation (Monaco is currently the highest; it has a median age of 45.7). The nation has a median age of 44.2. It also has the highest life expectancy in the world, at 81.25. This means that in about 25 years, most of the population will be in their late 60's or early 70's. This is very bad news for Japan; it will have a population that cannot do much to improve the country, and these people will not contribute to the nation again. At least Uganda will have a large working population soon.

Part II: Debt Edit

Debt. All nations of the world fear it. It is one of the few statistics that seem to never be consistent. The top three nations of the world in largest and smallest deficit are countries that are very strong ones. The US, Spain, and the UK have the largest deficits, and China, Germany, and Japan have the smallest. It seems as if debt has little to do with the long-term. This is not true.

Debt, when measured in surplus or deficit, gives a false positive or negative. When one sees the US and UK on opposite spectrum as China and Japan, one can see that there is something wrong. This is because the statistic has a fault. Major nations have either enormous debt or surplus. This is normal, because major nations do things, but countries like Nepal and Kyrgyzstan do not, and these countries end up with minimal deficit or surplus. There is a solution to this, however, and this is the Deficit/Surplus as % of GDP. With this, one can see what the debt really does to a nation. With this statistic, things seem to come back to normal. The worst major countries with this statistic are Chad, Bosnia, and Azerbaijan, with their deficits accounting for -39.7%, -29.2%, and -28.3% each. Debt is not biggest issue; the main issue is how much debt you have, in ratio of your GDP.

Part III: Health Edit

One of the worst things that could happen to a nation is have it become a dieing one. When a country is unhealthy, it will die earlier, people will be weak, will not work, will be in famine, and all of these all contribute to national failure. The main statistics here are life expectancy, death rates (and infant mortality rates), the amount of doctors, health spending, and the amount of hospitals. Certain countries have more luck than others; Mongolia and many African nations are in the middle of very desolate areas, and the population is spread out, making it hard to provide good healthcare.

The first mathematical concept dealing with health is how long you'll probably live. In Swaziland, that figure is near 39.6 years. When a country dies at a very young age, people will rarely get to work for very long, and that would mean that the country will have very little money from the population. The world average is at 67.2 years (which is, notably, exactly the life expectancy in Uzbekistan). The good news about this is that 64% of the world is above average. Obviously enough, however, that means that the lower 36% can upset the balance by 14%. Basically, nations tend to be above average, but if they aren't, they're way below, in a tendency I call the Absolute Tendency.

Crude death is a good way of showing how good healthcare is in a nation. This statistic demonstrates the Absolute Tendency. Out of 195 nations, 90 are at or above world average. The worst countries in this category are Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Angola, countries that are often associated with bad health. Sierra Leone has a 2.21% death rate, meaning that over 142000 people in the country die because of death rate alone.

Doctors and hospitals are the basic solutions to stopping disease and injury from killing people. Having plenty doctors and hospitals helps resist against death by disease. For every 165 people in Italy, there is one doctor. Although this number may seem bad, consider that the US has 188 to a doctor. Similarly, having hospital beds can give a good indication of the quantity of hospital care a country can provide. For 17.9 people in Switzerland, there is a hospital bed. The countries that have doctors and hospitals are the same countries that score very high in life expectancy and such. Having the personnel to treat patients is a basic step to keeping the population of a nation alive.

Spending money on healthcare is very important as well. Countries that use their money to improve healthcare are countries that put more effort into health, and hence are the countries that have improving healthcare. The best countries in this statistic are the US, Cambodia, and Lebanon, who spend 14.6%, 12%, and 11.5% of their GDP on healthcare. On the other hand, countries often associated with bad hospitals and care for patients don't spend money on healthcare. Iraq and Equatorial Guinea spend 1.5% and 1.8% of their GDP, and their healthcare system reflects this. Keeping a population healthy, and making it live long is essential to making a nation a successful one.

Part IV: Corruption Edit

One of the factors of a country that can prove to be the most hurtful is corruption. Whenever there is a leader, there is a chance of corruption. Certain nations have for corruption than others, and often this may have to do with the form of government used in that nation. Corruption is also notably one of the most difficult-to-calculate statistic for a nation, and there are few sources to find information on this category.

Released once every year is the critical and important FSI, or Failed State Index. This index measures the stability of a nation based on many elements, such as the form of government, past history, the amount of weapons inside the nation, the quality of life, and so forth. The index has a tendency of very rarely keeping nations in the same rank. The most failed state in the world right now is Somalia. Somalia has a total of 114.7 points on the FSI, compared to the United States, which have 34 points. What does this mean? It means that Somalia is 3 times more likely to completely break apart as the US. The question then is, what countries score low?

The nations of Norway, Finland, and Sweden each have 18.3, 19.2, and 20.6 points respectively. These countries are quiet countries, which are known to have good education, little military action, and little political power. Countries that are peaceful and do not create friction with other nations are the countries that are sustainable. Many countries that are known to get into trouble with revolutionaries and political problems score very high. In the Middle East, only the countries of Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are not considered Warning or Alert. In Asia, only South Korea and Japan are outside of the "danger zone" (scoring higher than 60).

The FSI also provides a way of seeing what countries moved, and by how much. The worst mover was Georgia, which went up 23 ranks in a single year. Although being in the "danger zone" is bad, the countries inside there can be divided into three separate groups: "Improving" "Maintaining" or "Worsening". It is much better to be a country that moves down the ranks rather than going up the ranks. For instance, the nation of Cape Verde went down 17 ranks, and if it continues at this speed, it should be out of the "danger zone" in about 3 years, which is very good news. However, Georgia, the country that moved upward the most, should be ranked #1 in about under two years (and it would be in the top 10 in about 1 year). Corruption is a very dangerous thing for a nation. Those who choose to take a peaceful route will end up going down the ranks to safety.

Part V: Exports & Imports Edit

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Part VI: Energy Edit

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Part VII: Education Edit

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Part VIII: Quality of Life Edit

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Part IX: Tourism Edit

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Part X: Conclusion Edit

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See also Edit

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