September 2010

Sizing Up Development Aid

There is always considerable debate about development aid made available to poor countries. Some find the amounts given too small, others far too large — and still others question the effectiveness of the aid that has been given so far. We wonder: Which country provides the most development aid relative to the size of its national economy?

Continue reading

Europe's Year and India's Days

While most countries in Europe have low birthrates, many developing countries are still experiencing considerable population growth — particularly India, the world's second-most-populous country. We wonder: How many days does it take India's population to grow as much as Europe's increases in an entire year?

Continue reading

Using Nuclear Power

Since the late 1950s, civilian nuclear reactors have played an important role in providing electricity. But sharp divisions remain. Some countries have embraced nuclear power as a clean source of electricity, while others worry about accidents and the long-term storage of nuclear waste. We wonder: Which of these countries is least dependent on nuclear power for its electricity?

Continue reading

Americans Living Longer Than Ever

At the start of the 20th century, the average American could only expect to live 47 years. Fortunately, life expectancy at birth has improved tremendously during the 20th century. As is the case in other world regions, Americans born today can expect to live longer than ever before. We wonder: What is the average life expectancy at birth for Americans today?

Continue reading