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About the Author

Andy Yee
Postgraduate Student (London, United Kingdom)

Andy Yee is a writer, blogger and translator based in Hong Kong. Educated at SOAS and Cambridge University, he has worked at the EU Delegation to China in Beijing. He writes at China Geeks, Open Democracy and Global Voices Online.


International Number Ones

Published 22nd May 2010 - 10 comments - 6097 views -

Information Is Beautiful has an excellent map showing what each country is the best at.

The map's tagline: "Because every country is the best at something."

Literally, Costa Rica is the "happiest" country in the world. Georgia has the most library books per capita (16,335 per 1,000 people).

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has the highest public debt (at 304% of GDP), while Cameroon has the highest marginal tax rate (at 60%). Not in the sense of how we take note of being "best" at.

Category: Education | Tags: statistics,


  • Helena Goldon on 22nd May 2010:

    What about Poland? What are we best at? smile

  • Lara Smallman on 22nd May 2010:

    What a great idea, I love this!

  • Johan Knols on 23rd May 2010:

    Personally I would replace the words ” every country is the best at something” by ‘every country has of something more than another country’. The word ‘best’ implies something of quality, something to be proud of. I doubt whether we Dutch are being proud as being seen as the ectasy hub of the world or that South Africa is beating itself on the chest about being the number 1 in assaults.
    Otherwise, a nice map for discussions.

  • Ian Sullivan on 23rd May 2010:

    Brilliant…I’ve lived in the UK and in South Africa so my countries are best at CCTV and assault. one watches you wherever you are and the other should watch you more.

    Can’t win

  • Clare Herbert on 23rd May 2010:

    I blogged on this myself elsewhere - love it. For those of you who haven’t yet, I’d really recommend a visit to the Information is Beautiful site that Andy has linked to above.

  • Radka Lankašová on 23rd May 2010:

    Andy, this is a very interesting post. Makes you stop and think.
    By the way I come from the no.1 beer drinking country that is very proud of that smile.

  • Andrea Arzaba on 25th May 2010:

    I love your post! I just feel inspired to share this smile

  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 26th May 2010:

    Thanks for this Andy! I confirm! The Philippines is number one in text messaging grin

  • Elsje Fourie on 28th May 2010:

    LOL @ Ian - those are my two “homes” as well! 

    Very cool graph Andy—although yes, as you say, a little depressing for some…  I really like initiatives like this that play around with information in an interesting new way.  Do you know the State of the World Atlas?  Another good example…

  • scott on 14th June 2010:

    Delightful article. I learn something new with every visit to your site. Thanks.

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