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Thread: The EU in the world : stunning statistics

  1. #1
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post The EU in the world : stunning statistics

    If the EU were to be recognised as a country (see What are the criteria defining a country ?), its ranking in terms of economics, scientific and artistic achievements and sports would overshadow any other country in the world (yes, even the US and China, and sometimes by far). Here is a quick overview :

    Sports

    Here are the stats for the 27 EU countries (so without Norway, Switzerland, etc.). I couldn't count the medals of the 3 Baltic countries during the Soviet period, as they were part of the USSR.

    Summer Olympic Games

    Gold medals : 1831 (USA = 896, USSR+Russia = 481, China = 112)
    Silver medals : 2001 (USA = 692, USSR+Russia = 399, China = 96)
    Bronze medals : 2072 (USA = 603, USSR+Russia = 374, China = 78)
    ---------------
    TOTAL : 7976 (USA = 2191, USSR+Russia = 1261, China = 286) out of 12797 medals ever given to all combined countries (so just 2/3 of all medals)

    Winter Olympic Games

    Gold medals : 360 (USA = 78, USSR+Russia = 111, China = 4)
    Silver medals : 383 (USA = 80, USSR+Russia = 81, China = 16)
    Bronze medals : 400 (USA = 58, USSR+Russia = 78, China = 13)
    ---------------
    TOTAL : 1043 (USA = 216, USSR+Russia = 270, China = 33) out of 2311 medals ever given to all combined countries (so almost half).

    If Norway were to join the EU (it's already half in it), this would seriously affect the Winter Olympic medal count, as it has earned more gold, silver and bronze medals alone than the USA. With Norway and Switzerland, the EU would have a total of 1441 medals, i.e. 80% of all medals worldwide.

    Motor sports are not included in the Olympics, so I chose F1, the queen of all motor sports, as the reference.

    Formula One

    Number of World Champion (drivers) : 34 out of 56 since 1950 (all Europeans since 1992, except for 1997).
    Number of World Champion (constructors) : 56 out of 56 !

    Economy

    The EU has the largest GDP in the world, noth nominal and at PPP, since it has reached 25 members in 2004. If the EU has a lower GDP per capita than the USA, one EU member state (Luxembourg) has by far the highest GDP per capita in the world (almost twice that of the USA).

    The EU is also the biggest donor of development aid or ODA in the world (over twice that of the USA).

    Sciences & Arts

    Europe is the birthplace of some of the greatest artistic styles in the world, which have influenced and been copied by most cultures. Former colonies like the USA, Canada or Australia have inherited the best of European architecture. Even Japan and China have copied European architecture for the most prestigious buildings (e.g. banks' HQ, government buildings...). Museums and art galleries worldwide vie for European painters or sculptors. The most expensive paintings in the world are all European (Van Gogh, Picasso, etc.). 99% of the famous classical music composers are European (maybe 90% without Russia).

    Europe invented most of the technology and products we use in our daily life (over twice more than the USA and Japan combined, => see Who invented what).

    One way to quantify modern scientific and literary achievements is to count the number of Nobel prizes for each field. Note that these figures for Europe are mostly for Northern and Western Europe.

    Nobel prizes

    TOTAL Nobel laureates (including Peace) : 350 (USA = 155, USSR+Russia = 21, Japan = 12, China = 8)

    Again, Norway and Switzerland would considerably increase those numbers (+33 Nobel prizes for both of them).

    Field Medal of Mathematics : 20 (USA = 20, Japan = 1)

    -----------

    EU vs USA

    In summary, the EU is comparable to the USA in terms of GDP (that really depends on the change rate), and the USA has a greater military power and better rated universities (more funds).

    However the EU beats the US in sciences, arts and sports, especially if we look at historical records. The EU has earned over twice more Nobel prizes, about 4x more Summer and Winter Olympic medals, dominates in motor sports, is the leader in food products, alcohols, fashion, cosmetics, classical arts (music, architecture, paintings...), and invented over twice more of the major inventions used in everyday life.
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  2. #2
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Here is a comparison of international rankings for European countries. Note that non-EU European countries are in brackets.

    Press freedom (2004 ranking by Reporters Without Borders)

    1) Finland
    -) Denmark
    -) Netherlands
    -) Ireland
    -) (Iceland)
    -) (Norway)
    -) (Switzerland)
    8) Slovakia
    9) Czech Republic
    -) Slovenia
    11) Estonia
    12) Sweden
    -) Hungary
    16) Austria
    -) Latvia
    18) Germany
    -) Belgium
    -) Greece
    21) Lithuania
    23) Portugal
    24) United Kingdom
    25) Cyprus
    30) France
    40) Spain
    42) Italy
    53) Poland

    (no stats available for Malta and Luxembourg)

    A few major non-European countries :

    21) Canada
    31) Australia
    37) Japan
    44) United States
    106) India
    137) United States (in Iraq)
    138) Russia
    159) China



    Growth Competitiveness Index ranking for 2004 from World Economic Forum

    1) Finland
    3) Sweden
    5) Denmark
    6) (Norway)
    8) (Switzerland)
    10) (Iceland)
    11) United Kingdom
    12) Netherlands
    13) Germany
    17) Austria
    20) Estonia
    23) Spain
    24) Portugal
    25) Belgium
    26) Luxembourg
    27) France
    30) Ireland
    32) Malta
    33) Slovenia
    36) Lithuania
    37) Greece
    38) Cyprus
    39) Hungary
    40) Czech Republic
    43) Slovakia
    44) Latvia
    47) Italy
    60) Poland

    A few major non-European countries :

    2) USA
    9) Japan
    14) Australia
    15) Canada
    46) China
    55) India
    70) Russia

    State of the World's Mothers Index for 2004 from Save the Children

    1) Sweden
    2) Denmark
    -) Finland
    4) Austria
    -) Netherlands
    6) (Norway)
    9) United Kingdom
    11) Czech Republic
    14) Slovenia

    No stats for the 17 other EU countries.

    A few major non-European countries :

    7) Australia
    -) Canada
    10) United States
    21) Russia
    45) China


    Quality of Life Index for 2005 from The Economist

    This index takes into account : material well-being, health, political freedom, job security, family life, climate and geography, political stability, gender equality and community life.

    Note that climate and geography penalises most northern and eastern European countries, which partly explains the good ranking of Italy, Spain and Portugal, and very poor performance of Baltic countries and Russia. What is more, the Economist says it calculate the climate and geography points based on latitude, which is an enormous mistake. Everybody knows that Japan, which is at the latitude of Spain and Morroco has a climate closer to the one of the UK and France. Likewise Scandinavian cities have higher latitude than Canadian ones, but are warmer all year round. At euqal latitude Ireland is much warmer than Latvia. This is all due to the Gulf Stream warming up Western Europe.

    I also doubt the validity of community life, which the Economist based solely on church attendance and trade union memberships. Naturally less religious countries (i.e. in Europe) where church attendance is extremely low are unjustly penalised.

    Furthermore, the Economist calculates job security based on unemployment, but doesn't take the generosity of social security (unemployment benefits) into acount. In the same way, it is absurd to calculate health only based on life expectancy, without taking the quality and affordability of healthcare into account.

    I also don't see why political stability increases quality of life. Very unstable countries may be unsecure, but the most politically stable ones are all dictatorships. Points should thus be given to those closest to the ideal balance (to be defined).

    Because of all the above, I find the following ranking quite nonsensical. For instance, I don't see how quality of life could be higher in the USA than in Canada or the EU-15 when it's fairly obvious than job security (due to the lack of social security in the US), healthcare, political and press freedom, and family life (based on the high divorce rate and longer working hours in the US) are all worse in the US. From personal experience I also can't believe that quality of life in Japan is better than in Belgium, France or the UK.

    1) Ireland
    2) (Switzerland)
    3) (Norway)
    4) Luxembourg
    5) Sweden
    7) (Iceland)
    8) Italy
    9) Denmark
    10) Spain
    12) Finland
    16) Netherlands
    19) Portugal
    20) Austria
    22) Greece
    23) Cyprus
    24) Belgium
    25) France
    26) Germany
    27) Slovenia
    28) Malta
    29) United Kingdom
    34) Czech Republic
    37) Hungary
    45) Slovakia
    48) Poland
    63) Lithuania
    66) Latvia
    68) Estonia

    The EU-15 average would be in 15th position (EU countries included in the ranking) or 8th (if those 15 individual countries are removed from the ranking). In either case, the EU-15 ranks just between Canada and Japan.

    A few major non-European countries :

    6) Australia
    13) United States
    14) Canada
    17) Japan
    60) China
    73) India
    105) Russia
    Last edited by Maciamo; 15-06-06 at 10:34.

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    I'm wondering if the Nobel prizes and Olympic medals should be averaged by the period average population- some kind of composite per capita... I would think that they should have more medals because they have had more people...?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    I'm wondering if the Nobel prizes and Olympic medals should be averaged by the period average population- some kind of composite per capita... I would think that they should have more medals because they have had more people...?
    Such statistics already exist. Countries like Sweden, Australia, Hungary, Romania, The Netherlands or Cuba have the highest ratio per capita for Summer Olympics, while Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Switzerland are by far the best for winter olympics.

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    Not that it makes a difference, but the stats would be skewed...As far as the Olympics, aren't countries limited to certain numbers of entries per event? If a group of countries suddenly becomes one, doesn't that mean that certain entries that previously won medals would have been excluded? Also haven't entries from European countries made up the majority of athletes until recently?

    It should be expected that games that originated in Europe and where there is a clear majority of European Athletes competing in mostly European events, that Europeans should dominate. I expect countries that have extensive winters to do better in winter games than those of more temperate climates.

  6. #6
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    Not that it makes a difference, but the stats would be skewed...As far as the Olympics, aren't countries limited to certain numbers of entries per event? If a group of countries suddenly becomes one, doesn't that mean that certain entries that previously won medals would have been excluded? Also haven't entries from European countries made up the majority of athletes until recently? It should be expected that games that originated in Europe and where there is a clear majority of European Athletes competing in mostly European events, that Europeans should dominate.
    That doesn't explain why some European countries do much less well than others (e.g. recently the UK).
    I expect countries that have extensive winters to do better in winter games than those of more temperate climates.
    So why do the UK, Russia, China, Japan or Canada not do better at winter olympics ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    So why do the UK, Russia, China, Japan or Canada not do better at winter olympics ?
    Not sure about UK, Russia or Canada, but Asian countries like China and Japan their athletics are Asian people who are physically weaker on average than whites (not counting Northern Chinese they appeared to be rather tall and have muscular arms).

    Asians are not very keen on sports. In Asian culture parents are biased to discipline their children to go for careers in science and mathematics. Also winter sports equipments cost more than summer sportfs equipments, so in Chinafs case probably not many people can afford it?

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    Korea has a good boxing program. Asians compete well in baseball and asian sports like Tae Kwon Do, Judo and Sumo.

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