For half a century, the continent of Africa stood out as the center of “leaders for life” – politicians who managed to hold on to power for decades. Now that trend is returning to major nations on the world stage. We wonder: Which of the following major countries has the most effective presidential term limits?
Russia’s population is the world’s ninth-largest. At 143 million, Russia has about 13% more people than 10th-ranked Japan. We wonder: On which of the following categories does Russia rank first worldwide?
A. Cigarette consumption
B. Defense spending
E. Natural gas reserves
F. Land area
G. Anti-corruption Continue reading →
Offshore tax avoidance or evasion is nearly the exclusive preserve of the global elite. Eighty percent of all offshore wealth belongs to the top 0.1% of earners worldwide, while 50% belongs to the even smaller group of the top 0.01%. We wonder: Which set of countries has more than half of its GDP in offshore tax havens?
A. Russia, China and India
B. United States and Mexico
C. Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the UK
D. United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia Continue reading →
Humans have grown domesticated wheat for about 11,000 years. It was a cornerstone of the transition from hunting and gathering to sedentary, agricultural societies. Today, about 220 million hectares (554 million acres) are growing it worldwide. We wonder: Which country devotes the most land area to wheat cultivation today?
For most of human history, time was reckoned or measured based on the local position of the sun. This varied by season and from one region of a country to another. Eventually, more standardized systems were introduced. We wonder: How many time zones today are in the world’s largest country, Russia?
Falling oil prices have put significant pressure on countries that have long relied on reaping the benefits of their large oil resources. The anticipated global transition away from fossil fuels will further add to that pressure. We wonder: Which country has the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves?
Beer likely dates as far back as humans have grown cereal crops. Thousands of years after people first fermented grain into beer, the world population drank 184.8 billion liters of it in 2016. It is the most popular alcoholic beverage by a wide margin. We wonder: In which country do people consume the most beer?
Over the last 200 years, human height has steadily increased. This phenomenon can largely be explained by rising living standards and resulting improvements in health and nutrition. We wonder: Which country has the tallest average male height in the world?
Women make up 49.55% of the world’s population. But when it comes to their representation in government, the percentages are often significantly much lower. We wonder: Which of the following major countries or regions has the lowest percentage of women in its cabinet?