8 interesting facts about our world

Friday, July 20, 2007

1) In 1975, China’s urban population comprised just 17% of the total. By 2004, that figure had reached 40%. In India, by contrast, that figure rose from 21% to 29%. Belgium has the highest percentage of urban population of any non city-state in the world at 94%.

2) China’s emergence as an economic power is remarkable when looked at over longer periods of time. In 1975, the country’s per capita income was only 76% of that of Burkina Faso. Today’s it’s 5 times as high.

3) In 1989, the fertility rate in Vietnam was 3.8 children per woman. By 2004, that was down to 1.8- comparable to the fertility rate in the US (1.77).

4) New Zealand has the highest rate of internet usage in the world, at 788 users per 1000 population. The lowest rate of internet penetration is in Tajikistan, with usage of 0.78 per 1000 population.

5) Life expectancy in South Africa has fallen from 63 in 1992 to 45 in 2004, which demonstrates the magnitude of the public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa posed by HIV.

6) The country with the most sexually-liberated workforce is Mozambique, where women comprise 54% of the total labour force. The most male-dominated workforce is in the UAE, where just 13% of the workforce are women. There is little to no correlation between women as a percentage of the workforce and wealth/income; rather, it appears to be a function of cultural preferences.

7) The nation with the world’s largest per capita carbon emissions is Trinidad and Tobago (32 tons per capita); the country with the fewest emissions is Chad (0.015 tons per capita).

8) The country with the largest military budget as a percentage of total fiscal spending in the world is....Singapore, at 30%. The largest big-country military spend as a percentage of total is Pakistan, with 28%. In the US, 19% of the budget spend is allocated to the military- that’s up from 16% in 2001. The lowest military spend in the world is by Mauritius, with just 0.91% of fiscal expenditure going towards the military.

All data courtesy of www.gapminder.org, where you can see all this data and more presented in a unique graphical format using the Gapminder World tool.

Posted by Macro Man at 9:27 AM  


Adding one more to the list….

Estimated amount of reserves going on to Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) by 2015 is $12 Trillion. This is apart from reserve holding by CBs.

Anonymous said...
1:51 PM  

Here is a factoid from a Senior Fellow at the Fujitsu Research Instit. in Japan regarding sustainability of growth and investment in China:

"Current economic growth is being driven by real estate investment and inefficient fixed investments by state-owned enterprises, and as such is not considered sustainable. Moreover, this growth is based on high-consumption of energy and resources, with the amount of energy consumed to produce one unit of GDP at 2.4 times that of the US and 8 times that of Japan."

Phwwaaar DM!!! 8x!!

"Cassandra" said...
2:30 PM  

Just imagine what it will be like in 5-10 years at current growth rates and if China shows the same disdain for pollution externalities as they do for FX reserve externalities. The US has a fairly horrible record there, of course, but the size and energy intensity of China's industrial base could dwarf the gross emissions coming out of America...

Macro Man said...
2:57 PM  

hailing from Singapore, I'd be curious what the is the percentage of spending on executive posts vs other countries. Esp when the Prime Minister makes something like 4-5x what G. Bush earns.

Anonymous said...
3:41 PM  

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.... ;)

That sort of data isn't available, as far as I know.

Macro Man said...
3:48 PM  

--shows the same disdain...

Continuing to convincingly (if not always effectively) occupy the moral high ground in general poses a serious challenge for what was the post-WWII west. It worked when everywhere else was either behind the iron curtain and/or firmly planted in the third world and 'we' could firmly take the blame and debate and decree the remedies for a whole series of social ills, which may not even be seen as being such in places as nearby as the eastern bank of the Elbe.

Charles Butler said...
3:55 PM  

Macro Manny,

I am not living in Tajikistan where there is not much internet.... but I have missed some news i guess

Dollar has run down quite a bit in the last hour or so...any thing up ?

Oil Exporter to USA

Anonymous said...
4:36 PM  

Yes...credit spreads are up (eg wider), which as we learned the other day means that the USD goes down the swannee.....

Macro Man said...
4:44 PM  

Hail from Indo, after China increase the rate they also reduce the interest rate income tax so from other angle rather than the usual of increasing real rate suddenly they have another 72bp purchasing power accross the board? what's your take?

Anonymous said...
2:11 AM  

I don't think the cut in deposit tax makes that much difference, to be honest with you. Bank deposits have been falling....as money has gone into the stock market. Lowering the WHT on deposits might, on the margin, encourage some money to flow back into deposits. But I don't think it's going to generate a surge in income that will eventually be spent.

Macro Man said...
9:16 AM  

But at some point the Chinese government needs those savings to stop going into the stock market and return into bank deposits, right?

That's how the PBoC sterilizes - borrowing Chinese savings deposited in the banking system to buy USD, rather than issuing new yuan to buy USD. The stock market is competing for these savings and thus crimping PBoC power, no?

jp said...
5:07 PM  

Sterilization is an offset to the issuance of new yuan to buy dollars. The net result is no change - not a net withdrawal of funds.

And the stock market doesn't compete with PBOC for funds. The net result is also no change in funds - for every buyer a seller- for every outflow of bank funds an inflow.

Anonymous said...
11:52 PM  

I'd agree that sterilization is just an offset, money supply growth is still occurring. Just look at Chinese M1 and the rest. It's fast and growing.

But I'm not sure that there's no competition for savings between the PBoC and the private sector, in this case the stock market. Isn't that the whole idea of crowding out, whereby governments borrow, force rates up, thereby disuading private borrowers? In China it seems the PBoC doesn't even have to increase rates to attract funds, it can twist arms.

I'd agree that in the stock market, for every buyer there's a seller. But what if a seller turns around and buys a different stock with his new funds, the new seller in turn buying a different stock, and on and on. Remember the dotcom mania? Speculative chains of buying can bind money up in the stock market, especially when excess money supply growth is supporting it, no?

jp said...
1:59 AM  

Excess money growth generally results from partial sterilization, which China has done as well. The intervention is mostly to sop up a current account surplus that has no private investment outlet (because of controls) - leaving the yuan unsterilized leaves a bunch of money looking for a domestic home (goods and services or assets) for which there really is no offsetting supply. Granted there is additional manipulation of domestic interest rates in China's case, but the alternative is excess money supply. Agree with the crowding out interpretation, but in this case crowding out is to get back closer to a neutral domestic effect from the intervention. Neither is perfect, but unsterilized intervention would be 'less neutral' than the force feeding of sterilization bills into the banks. Sterilization bills are a form of intermediation between domestic saving and foreign investment. Apart from that, increased money supply naturally supports goods and services and asset prices, including stocks.

Anonymous said...
11:52 AM  

And of course all the problems begin with FX intervention. It starts a chain reaction of domestic, foreign, and global market distortions, among which domestic sterilization is but one small aspect.

Anonymous said...
12:02 PM  

Jp does have a point insofar as the excess reserves of Chinese banks are pretty low at the moment, so there's not a lot of spare cash to buy sterilization bills or the forthcoming CIC issuance.

That having been said, with household savings rates continuing to rise, it would appear likely that deposit growth should resume, even if some of the new income does get diverted intom the equity market.

In any event, the lack of sprea liquidity with which to buy bills is one of the reasons some shops are suggesting paying Chinese rates- it will only be at higher yields that banks hav an appetite to buy PBOC/CIC's crappy paper. In the meantime, that leaves more intervention unsterilized and more money growth.

The real culprit, of course, is Russia, with M2 growth of 60% y/y. Yowsah!

Macro Man said...
1:05 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Macro Man said...
8:28 PM  

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