International Comparisons seeks to compile the most comprehensive and up-to-date performance indicators for eleven selected advanced democracies and the United States (US). We provide objective information for academics, students, journalists and others, with:

  • Hundreds of quantitative and qualitative statistics
  • Easy to use consistent interface and format
  • Statistics in table format with graphs where available
  • Notes and links to complement and substantiate the data

International Comparisons compares the performance of eleven advanced democracies with the United States on many indicators:

  • Overview: 7 indicators using multiple indexes
  • Economic: 31 indicators in 4 areas
  • Environmental: 39 indicators in 6 areas
  • Political: 62 indicators in 7 areas
  • Social: 98 indicators in 17 areas
Population in Millions
Australia26.0Japan124.9
Canada38.9Netherlands17.7
Denmark5.9Norway5.5
France67.9Sweden10.5
Germany83.8United Kingdom67.3
Italy58.9United States333.3

Source 06/21/2024: https://www.oecd.org/

In general, the data reveal that the eleven selected advanced democracies are ahead of the United States in overall performance. Generally speaking, people in the eleven democracies are happier, have more vacation time, and are healthier than residents of the US.

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Important Points

In general, residents of the US have high personal income, high productivity, large houses, and ready access to higher education. However, compared to the eleven advanced democracies, the US is the most militarized nation, has the highest population growth, the highest concentration of income and wealth among the lowest proportion of residents, the highest child poverty rate, the least successful basic education, the lowest health status, the highest health care costs, high crime, low leisure time, high rates of abortion and teen pregnancy, and low status for women. The US is not a democracy because the electoral college election process allows the loser of the popular vote to win the nation’s highest office. Additionally, the US is the least environmentally sustainable of the compared countries, the most polluting, the most energy consuming and the most dependent on automobiles and fossil fuels.

European Union – In 1957, 10 European countries signed the Treaty of Rome, forming the EU. By 2007 the EU had 27 countries and 490 million people. The EU has a unified currency (the Euro, with the exception of the U.K.), open borders, free trade, free capital and a coordinated foreign policy. The EU requires applicants to meet requirements for democracy and institutional reform.

Race – This guide has no international information about race for two main reasons: international statistics are hard to find; and class divisions and ethnic conflict issues are much more important. We agree with Wolff et al. (see Overview Page notes):

“…society’s most visible problems do not stem primarily from race; they stem from poverty…The poor, both black and white, share the same approximate rates of crime, welfare, teenage and single parenthood, substance abuse and other social problems.”

Discrimination related to race increases poverty among minorities, but statistics in the US for Whites are worse than those for Europe. Despite growth in the US of Black middle and upper classes, Blacks in the US in general are doing worse than Whites in health, education, crime, and income. In the US, Hispanics and Native Americans also have serious poverty problems, while Asians are generally even with Whites in these areas.

Updated 06/21/2024 ez

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