January 2011

Corruptocracies

While difficult to quantify, corruption remains a serious problem in all regions of the globe. It is endemic among the poorest nations and emerging markets, but is also surprisingly prevalent in advanced economies. We wonder: Of the following countries, which is the only one perceived as being more corrupt than the United States?

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When Cities Rule the World

In the midst of the current global economic crisis, everybody is looking for promising growth strategies. Metropolitan areas — combinations of cities and suburbs that represent unified labor markets — are playing an important role in the global economic recovery. We wonder: What share of global GDP do the world’s 150 major metropolitan areas account for?

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The Ever-Expanding United Nations

With southern Sudan set to secede from Sudan pending a widely expected "yes" vote in its independence referendum — becoming the world's first new country this decade — it should soon seek to join the ranks of the 192 countries recognized by the United Nations. We wonder: Which of these decades saw the biggest increase in the number of UN members?

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The World's Tobacco Production King

Tobacco continues to pose one of the world's largest public health challenges, killing 5.4 million people each year. With governments and international health organizations stepping up their efforts to curb tobacco use, we wonder: Which country produces more tobacco than any other?

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