Brazil overtakes UK to become world’s 6th largest economy - posted 9th May 2012
Thanks in part to high food and oil prices, Brazil has now overtaken the United Kingdom to become the world’s 6th largest economy behind the US, China, Japan,
Germany and France. Figures from the April 2012 edition of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook show the value of the Brazilian economy (GDP, current prices) at an estimated
US$2492.91 billion in 2011 compared with the UK’s estimated $2417.57 billion.
Brazilians have already seen a huge rise in their GDP over the last 10 years and this looks likely to continue with the value of the economy set to almost double from
2008 at $1650.392 billion (GDP, current prices) to an estimated $3267.904 billion in 2017. In the UK, growth over the same 10 year period is estimated at 19%.
Bibliographic citation: International Monetary Fund (2012): World Economic Outlook (Edition: April 2012). ESDS International, University of Manchester. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5257/imf/weo/2012_04
However, with a population three times that of the UK, and one of the worst income distributions in the world Brazilians are fully aware that GDP is not the only measure
that matters and that there is a long way to go to reach a similar standard of living. The per capita income in 2011 of Brazilians was $12,788.56, less than a third of that
of the UK's inhabitants.
World stocks take a tumble - posted 11 April 2012
Turbulence has hit the global markets once again following the release of weak US jobs data and persistent fears over the Eurozone. In particular, low growth, missed deficit targets and high unemployment in Spain have triggered high bond yields amid concerns about Madrid's ability to repay its debts.
Quarter-on-quarter changes in stock indexes around the world show big differences in the performance of different markets, illustrating the international diversifications in equity portfolios. The FTSE is one of the best performers of the European markets; however this is not necessarily a reflection of the performance of the UK economy as, rather unusually, around 60-70% of FTSE100 earnings are generated from overseas investments.
The data come from the OECD’s Main Economic Indicators, March 2012 release.
Bibliographic citation: Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (2012): Main Economic Indicators (Edition: March 2012). ESDS International, University of Manchester. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5257/oecd/mei/2012-03
World Religion Day - posted on 15 January 2012
15 January 2012 marks the 61st World Religion Day. ESDS International provides a good source of comparative information regarding the importance of religion in people's everyday lives.
Survey questions cover the role of religion during childhood; frequency of regular religious services attendance; frequency of prayers and participation
in religious activities; existence of religious objects in the home; frequency of visiting a holy place (shrine, temple, church or mosque) for religious reasons except regular religious services;
self-classification of personal religiousness and spirituality; truth in one or in all religions; and attitudes towards the profits of practicing a religion (finding inner peace and happiness, making friends, gaining
comfort in times of trouble and sorrow, meeting the right kind of people).
The World Values Survey, for example, reveals the extent to which people believe religion is important to them.
In 36 out of 56 surveyed
countries religion is 'very or rather important' to the majority of its people - regardless of the type of faith they believe in.
In almost a quarter of the countries almost the entire population emphasises the prominence of religion (see graph below). At the lower end of the spectrum are Japan and China with
about 20 per cent agreeing to religion being important compared to 100 per cent agreeing in Egypt and Jordan.
Data source: 2005-2008 World Values Survey
Other relevant international micro datasets for comparative research questions related to religion are the: Eurobarometer survey series; Central- and Eastern Eurobarometers;
European Values Study; Religion and Citizenship and other surveys as part of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP); and the Wellbeing in Developing Countries study.
Samoa to travel forward in time - posted 21 December 2011
On Thursday 29 December, the South Pacific island of Samoa plans to jump a day forward in time so that it can be on the same weekday as its main trading partners in Australasia and eastern Asia.
Samoa currently sits east of the international dateline 21 hours behind Sydney. The shift in time zone will place the island just 3 hours ahead.
The move comes 119 years after Samoa moved in the opposite direction in an effort to align the working day with American traders in California. However, as the chart shows, over the last
two decades Australia and Developing Asia have increasingly become Samoa's biggest trading partners.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said: "In doing business with New Zealand and Australia,
we're losing out on two working days a week. While it's Friday here, it's Saturday in New Zealand and when
we're at church Sunday, they're already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane."
The data come from the Dec 2011 release of the IMF's Direction of Trade. The bibliographic citation for
this database is: International Monetary Fund (2011): Direction of Trade Statistics (Edition: December 2011). ESDS International, University of Manchester.
A world of seven billion - posted 02 November 2011
According to UN estimates, the population of the world will reach the milestone of seven billion towards the end of 2011, symbolically on October 31.
The global population reached one billion in 1800, two billion in 1927, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987 and six billion in
1999. The chart shows that, according to current projections, the world's population is likely to reach around 9.3 billion by 2050, with alternative scenarios
ranging from a low of 8.1 billion to a high of more than 10.6 billion.
The seven billionth citizen will be born into a “world of contradictions” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “We have plenty of food yet millions
are starving. We see luxurious lifestyles yet millions are impoverished ... it is a challenge, an opportunity and a call to action for all of us.”
Among challenges beyond grinding poverty and inequality, Dr Ban cited discrimination, human rights abuses, lack of democracy, violence against women, maternal mortality,
climate change and the degradation of the environment.
Data Source: Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision,
Global economy in 'dangerous new phase' - posted 26 Sept 2011
The global economy is entering a 'dangerous new phase' according to the
IMF's latest World Economic Outlook report. The report warns of a 'weak and
bumpy' outlook for advanced economies, projected to expand at an 'anaemic
pace' of about 1.5% in 2011 - assuming the crisis in the euro area can be
contained. Growth forecasts for the UK economy have been slashed to 1.14%.
Elsewhere, sub-Saharan Africa will continue to grow at a robust pace and surging
commodity prices are powering high growth in Latin America. The outlook for
Middle East and North Africa is less certain as social unrest continues in
the region. Very unusually, the Fund provides almost no forecast data for
The interactive, draggable chart below shows the IMF's GDP growth projections
for 2011, expressed as a percentage change. Green points to a positive economic
growth forecast over 2011 while red indicates a projected overall drop in
GDP. Oil producing Qatar, which has one of the highest GDPs per capita, is
set to be the world's fastest growing economy. Several major economies are
expected to suffer negative growth this year including Portugal, Greece and
The data comes from the Sept 2011 release of the IMF's World Economic Outlook Database, which underpins the report's analysis.
The bibliographic citation for this database is: International Monetary
Fund (2011): World Economic Outlook (Edition: September 2011). ESDS International,
University of Manchester. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5257/imf/weo/2011-09
Budget cuts and social unrest
- posted 16 Aug 2011
Photo by: hozinja, Creative Commons, Flickr.
Do cuts in government spending - or the threat of cuts - lead to protest, riots and civil unrest?
Assembling a century of time series data from the OECD databases and other sources, Jacopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joachim Voth
found that government expenditure cuts carry a significant risk of increasing the frequency of riots, anti-government protests,
strikes, political assassinations and attempts to overthrow the ruling order.
The positive correlation held for 27 European countries for the period 1919 - 2009. But does this correlation mean government cuts
cause unrest? It may be that depressed economic conditions provide a common origin for both societal instability and government cut-backs.
However, the authors found that controlling for economic growth left their main findings unaffected. Moreover, using more
recently compiled data, the authors also found evidence of causality running from the budgets cuts to civil unrest in the
The research is published as:
Ponticelli, J.& and Voth, H.J. (2011) Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe, 1919-2009, Centre for Economic
Policy Research Discussion Paper No. 8513. Available from: www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/file/DP8513.pdf [Accessed 15 August 2011]
Women in parliament
- posted 11 July 2011
The election of Yingluck Shinawatra as Thailand’s first woman prime minister brings the total number of female head of states or government to 20, or slightly under 9% of the countries of the world. Globally, women’s representation in national assemblies is just over 19 percent, up from 11 percent in 1995.
The map shows that the new democracies of Rwanda and South Africa, alongside traditionally liberal northern European countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands, have the highest proportion of female members of parliament. The UN has suggested that a ‘critical mass’ of 30% is needed to adequately address women’s legislative priorities.
Some countries, including Qatar and Oman and several small island states such as Tuvalu, have no women in parliament and a very small number, most notably Saudi Arabia, still do not have universal suffrage.
Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments during 2010 (%)
Data from World Bank (2011): World Development Indicators (Edition: April 2011). ESDS International, University of Manchester.
Reconsidering nuclear energy policy?
- posted 6 April 2011
Triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami on the 11th March in Japan, the Fukushima nuclear crisis has made countries around the world reconsider their energy policies and related security measures, with countries such as Germany and France announcing moratoriums on their own nuclear plans.
As the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that 20% of the world’s nuclear reactors are located inside zones of seismic activity, safety measures are now firmly back on the international agenda, and countries are re-assessing how dependent they are on the nuclear sector for their energy production. The graph shows countries which have a large share of their electricity produced by nuclear power. (Source data: Nuclear share figures, 1999-2009, (Edition: May 2010), World Nuclear Association,
IAEA, http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/nshare.html. )
ESDS International hosts International
Energy Agency data which contain annual and quarterly time series data from 1960 onwards on energy
production, trade, stocks, transformation, consumption, prices and taxes as well as on greenhouse gas emissions for over the 30
OECD Member countries and over 100 non-OECD countries world-wide.
Unrest in the Arab world -posted 17 Feb 2011
The Arab world has been closely watching the recent dramatic events in Egypt and Tunisia. Triggered by poverty, unemployment, rising prices, social exclusion and anger over corruption, widespread street protests forced Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to step down in February 2011 just weeks after similar protests saw Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali flee his country.
However despite dissatisfaction with the authoritarian regime, 70% of Egyptians interviewed in the 2008 World Values Survey (WVS) rated ‘Fighting rising (food) prices’ as more important than ‘Protecting freedom of speech’ and ‘Giving people more say’. This was a very different picture from that given in the 2000 WVS when 62.7% of respondents said 'Maintaining order in the Nation' was the most important.
The birth of a new country? - posted 7 Jan 2011
A long promised referendum on independence for Southern Sudan took place in January. Preliminary results show a landslide yes
vote, with over 99% voting to secede from the north. As a result, Southern Sudan will become the world's newest country in July 2011.
Image: United Sudanese Youth
Despite huge oil reserves, 51% of the population of Southern Sudan live below the poverty line and decades of war have
left the region with little physical or institutional infrastructure. Oil is an important source of wealth for Sudan as a whole, accounting for 77% ($6.9bn) of exports in 2009); with estimates that two
thirds of oil production originates in the south, the economic consequences for Sudan of the South's secession are immense.
With two civil wars within living memory and an estimated 2.5 million war dead, uncertainty remains as to whether the South's
independence can be achieved peacefully. Key to a achieving a peaceful separation will be whether an equitable deal can be reached
that allows the South to continue to use the North's oil exporting infrastructure.
Note: missing bars indicate data are not available
 World Bank South Sudan Key Indicators
 Global Witness
Measuring progress: Is SWB the new GDP? - posted 2 Dec 2010
Much has been made of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent announcement that measures
of ‘happiness’ or ‘well-being’ should complement economic measures such as GDP as the benchmark for
Cameron’s idea is neither new nor his own – see the Global Project/wikiprogress or the new economics
foundation’s Happy Planet Index – but his announcement has thrown social surveys – and questions on what researchers
call ‘subjective well-being’ (SWB) in particular – sharply into focus. As part of the planned move, Cameron has asked Jil Matheson, the UK’s National Statistician (and former Chair of the ESDS Advisory Committee), to
devise or recommend a standard survey question or instrument to measure well-being on UK surveys.
SWB is, of course, already measured in various ways by social surveys and the ESDS holds a substantial amount of data on the topic. The measurement of well-being also featured prominently in this year’s ESDS International Annual
Conference. Angela Costrini Hariche of the OECD delivered a key presentation on the Global Project and
its wikiprogress website, Jan Eichhorn’s poster presentation described research testing the link between religiosity
and SWB and Ewan Carr's poster showcased research on the association between local economic conditions, job insecurity
and individual well-being across Europe.
Burma holds first election since 1990 - posted 2 November
On November 7, Myanmar (Burma)
will hold its first general election in 20 years. However, with the main opposition
party effectively dissolved by the ruling military junta earlier this year,
there is widespread concern that the primary purpose of the election is to
legitimise military rule.
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (right), who has been in detention for
15 of the last 21 years, is due for release the week following the election.
The highly politicized context, atmosphere of self-censorship and weak statistical capacity mean official data for
Myanmar are of questionable validity. The World Bank's Statistical Capacities Indicator for Myanmar has been revised downwards
significantly over the last 5 years. The lack of reliable data makes Myanmar's progress toward the Millennium Development
Goals difficult to quantify. Government figures are optimistic about the economy and the country's progress towards achieving the
goals. However the UN's own assessment suggests Myanmar is performing poorly across many of the MDG targets with particular
concern over the continuing high rates of child mortality.
Update: Aung San Suu Kyi walks free - posted 15 November
"No matter what the regime's physical power, in the end they cannot stop
the people"" Aung San Suu Kyi, released 13 November 2010. See interview
The Ascent of China (posted 7 Sept 2010)
After two decades of spectacular growth, China finally passed Japan to become the world’s second largest economy. Just five years ago, China’s GDP was about half the size of Japan’s and in recent years has overtaken that of all the major European economies. While the country is still poor on a per capita basis, the sheer absolute size of the Chinese economy, in conjunction with its dominance of international trade, voracious appetite for natural resources and accumulation of foreign reserves and US government debt, has come reshape the global economy – and environment - as a whole.
Data source: Data source: IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2010 release
Financial Earthquakes Shake Euro-zone (posted 15th July 2010)
The recent recession, and the financial crisis
that led to it, has led to sharp increases in government debt across Europe.
This in turn has triggered a series of shocks in the sovereign debt markets across
the Euro-zone, particularly in Greece, Spain and Portugal
Countries inside the euro-zone cannot devalue their currency or increase
the money supply through quantitative easing when under pressure. This makes
the high-debt Euro-zone countries particularly vulnerable to credit runs,
especially where the underlying economy is seen as fundamentally weak. In
April, Greece's credit rating was downgraded to the first levels of 'junk'
status. Borrowing from the capital markets became unaffordable and the country
was forced into a €110 billion bail-out by the EU and IMF conditional on the
implementation of a series of harsh and unpopular spending cuts.
Greece should have defaulted on its loans argued Joseph Stiglitz in a talk
in June at the University of Manchester. "The capital markets have very short
memories" the Nobel prize-winning economist observed.
Data source: Data source: IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2010 release
Coalition government sets to work (posted 8 June 2010)
With the dust settling on the 2010 UK general election - and
the coalition arithmetic agreed - there is already a wealth of data available for analysts to ponder.
The 2010 British Election Study (BES) is already in full swing, with data available from the Continuous
Monitoring Survey – a monthly survey running since 2008 – direct from the study’s web site.
Data from previous studies in that series are available to registered ESDS users via the BES major studies page.
More broadly, the BES is one component of the Comparative
Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) programme, which provides an opportunity for comparative electoral research.
Election studies participating in the CSES include a common module of questions in their surveys and the
resultant data are merged into a single, free, public dataset.
Earthquake in Haiti (posted 27 January 2010)
Even before the devastating earthquake of 12 January, Haiti was a fragile and vulnerable country. Decades of political instability, poverty and environmental degradation had left the country as the least-developed in the Western Hemisphere with an infrastructure close to collapse and social indicators among the weakest in the world. Two-thirds of all Haitians depended on the agricultural sector, leaving the country particularly exposed to damage from natural disasters. As a result, the World Food Programme has estimated that 2 million Haitians, or just under a quarter of the population, will be relying on food aid as a result of the earthquake. The map shows a cross tabulation of infant mortality rate and the adult prevalence rate of HIV-AIDS taken before the earthquake. It can be seen that Haiti was struggling by both measures, each a sensitive barometer of the general well-being of society.
Data source: CommonGIS interface to CIA World Factbook Sept 2007
Seeking a carbon-low future: COP15 (posted 26 November 2009)
The 4th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report has shown that climate changes are a reality today, and that the main culprit is greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity. On the 7th December 2009 Heads of State, Environment Ministers and Officials met at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen to thrash out a global agreement coordinating international action against climate change.
A key question for the summit was how much are industrialised countries and major developing countries such as China and India willing to reduce or limit their emissions. The graph shows CO2 emissions from transport fuel combustion in China, India and the United States. For further information on CO2 emissions data, see the ESDS International thematic guide on CO2 emissions - http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/I4C.pdf.
Data Source: International Energy Agency, CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion (Edition: 2008), ESDS International (Mimas), University of Manchester.
World Food Day (posted 16 October 2009)
In the context of the World Food Week
and World Food Day 2009 it has been estimated that now almost one sixth of all humanity is
suffering from hunger. In discussing how to feed the world in 2050, Jaques Diouf, the director general
of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has stated that the world population is expected to soar
by 34 per cent to 9.1 billion by that date, with the growth taking place entirely in developing countries.
‘Young Lives: an International Study of Childhood Poverty’ follows 8000 children born in 2000/2001
over a 15-year period in four developing countries: India, Peru, Ethopia and Vietnam. At the age of
five, 9 per cent to 34 per cent of the surveyed households experienced food shortages (see figure).
Data Source: Young Lives:
an International Study of Childhood Poverty
Release of the Lockerbie bomber (posted 20 August 2009)
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi,
the only person to be convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which
exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, has today
been released on compassionate grounds.
The Lockerbie bombing took Libya deep into international isolation. Punitive
UN sanctions restricted international trade and curtailed investment in the
country's oil infrastructure. The chart shows how these sanctions suppressed
Libyan trade with the rest of the world throughout the 1990's.
Colonel Gaddafi's decision to compensate
victims and extradite suspects for trial led to the lifting of sanctions in
2003 and Libya's eventual rehabilitation into the international community.
Data Source: Bilateral and multilateral trade data from IMF Direction of Trade Statistics
Trust in the European Parliament (posted 4 June 2009)
As EU countries go to the polls for the European Parliamentary elections, evidence
from the most recent Eurobarometer (EB) survey available suggests that, taken together, European citizens
continue to place more trust in the European Parliament than their own national legislatures.
When asked about the European Parliament, over half the respondents to EB 70.1 indicated that
they 'tend to trust' that institution. The same survey showed the equivalent figure for trust
in the respondent's own national parliament to be running at around a third of the respondents.
Of course, these EU-wide results conceal important national variations. Trust in the European
Parliament was highest in Slovakia at 70 per cent, whilst the UK respondents topped the table for 'tend not
to trust' at 51 per cent. Variation in attitudes towards national parliaments was larger still with a
mere 8 per cent of Bulgarians tending to trust their parliament. In contrast, three quarters of Danish
respondents appear to have trust in their parliament.
Data Source: Eurobarometer 70.1, Oct-Nov 2008
Note that data from this EB are still under embargo, though a
Commission report outlining the main findings from that survey is available.
Iceland freezes over (posted 27 March 2009)
By the summer of 2008, Icelandic banks owed around six times the country's
total GDP and, as conditions tightened in the global credit market, the country's
economic difficulties became evident. Efforts to stabilise the financial system
failed and shortly afterwards Iceland became the first western country to
apply to the International Monetary Fund for emergency financial aid since
1976. The chart shows one example of the rapid revising of Iceland's economic
forecast that took place during 2008.
Data Source: IMF World Economic Outlook
America votes: 4 November 2008 (posted 3 Nov 2008)
Evidence from the American National Election Studies (ANES)
indicates that, in recent decades, more United States voters are deciding which
way to vote later in the campaign and, for elections where a two-term President
is unable to stand for a third time, there are yet more voters deciding late.
If the 2008 Presidential election follows the same pattern,
there may still remain a large number of 'undecideds' among the electorate,
suggesting that Democrat Barack Obama's clear lead in the late-October/early-November polls
may not be completely secure.
Data Source: American National Election Studies
ESDS-registered users based at UK educational institutions may order ANES data
held at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) – see the final section of
Accessing international survey (micro) data for details.
Postscript: 5th November - Obama wins!
World Food Day (posted 16 October 2008)
A ‘perfect storm’ of
surging demand, bad harvests, rising oil prices, speculative trading in commodities
and competition for land from non-food biofuel crops resulted in sharp increases
in the price of basic foodstuffs earlier this year. Prices moderated slightly in late summer
after plentiful harvests but the global supply of food is expected to remain
tight as the longer term pressures of population growth, urbanisation and
environmental stress continue.
Data Source: Commodity prices from the IMF International Financial Statistics
Britain ‘Good at Sport’ Shock (posted 28 August 2008)
China won 51 gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and so became the first
country other than the US or former Soviet Union to lead the medal table in
72 years. Team GB won 19 gold medals, the best result for the UK since the
1908 Olympics in London, and resulting in 4th place in the final table.
the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ alternative table of medals per
capita, the Bahamas ranks first, closely followed by Norway and Australia.
North Korea and Jamaica top the tables of medals per unit of GDP.
Data Sources: Beijing
2008 Olympic Games, Australian
Bureau of Statistics, GDP data from the World
Bank World Development Indicators
Air pollution in China (posted 5 August
In the run up to the 2008 Olympic Games, China has worked hard to bring air pollution levels in
Beijing to within WHO standards. Driving through the city has been restricted, construction projects halted and heavy-polluting factories closed
in the capital and surrounding provinces. Air pollution results from a cocktail of several pollutants,
including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone. The graph shows China currently has relatively high rates of premature deaths from particulate matter
urban air pollution, and these rates are forecast to increase further by 2030.
Data Source: OECD Environmental Outlook to 2030
Oil prices reach record high (posted 9th June 2008)
Robust demand for crude, real and threatened disruptions in supply, a speculative
rush into commodities and weak dollar have all fuelled the recent sharp increases
in the price of oil. Strong demand from rapidly industrialising economies
in Asia and South America has combined with investment flows from traders,
pension and hedge funds seeking refuge from the credit crunch to drive the
price of oil up to a new high of $135 a barrel this month. The International
Energy Agency have forecast the tight supply will continue until at least
Why the price of oil is highDemand
While previous spikes in the price of oil have been
triggered by disruptions in supply, increasing demand is the main driver of
the current rally. Global growth in demand has slowed since 2004 but demand
is still rising, despite the economic slowdown in the United States, with growth
in the fast industrialising countries such as India and China particularly high.
Speculative trading and investment funds into commodities,
including oil, have boomed in recent months. Commodities are seen a safe refuge
for traders seeking to avoid other markets more directly affected by the global
credit crunch. Disruptions in supply
OPEC member Venezuela
suspended oil exports to Exxon Mobil following the company's challenge to the
government's nationalization of an oil project. The supply of crude from Nigeria,
Africa's biggest oil exporter, has also been disrupted by local attacks on the
country's oil infrastructure. Anti-Iranian posturing by Israel and the US has
raised fears of a future disruption in supply from one of the world's largest
suppliers and the IEA have also raised concerns about the level of provable
reserves held by the big oil producers. Iraq
Iraq is still
in the process of developing its oil infrastructure following decades of war,
sanctions and underinvestment.
The fall in the value of the dollar against
other major currencies has helped drive the buying across commodities as dollar
assets are relatively cheap. It has also increased the purchasing power of non-dollar
consumers, such as China, while investors are also using oil as a hedge against
future falls in the value of the dollar.
Data Source: IMF International Financial Statistics, May 2008 release
May 15th: International Day of Families (posted 14th May
The theme for this year’s International Day of Families, celebrated on May 15, is ‘Fathers and Families: Responsibilities and Challenges’. The International Social Survey Programme asked respondents whether or not they agree with the statement ‘A man’s job is to earn money; a woman’s job is to look after the home and family’ in 1988, 1994 and 2002. A full time series for this period exists for six countries: the majority has observed a sharp decline in agreement with the statement.
Data Source: ISSP Family and Changing Gender Roles modules
May 14th: Israel turns 60 (posted 6th May
Israel is a country built on immigration, with around 40% of the population born elsewhere.
The chart shows Israel and Palestine's net migration, that is, the number of incoming international
migrants less outgoing international migrants. The large peak in Israeli immigration during the
1990's reflects the huge influx of migrants following the break up of the former Soviet Union.
Data Source: UN Common Database, December 2007 update
Hyperinflation and hunger in Zimbabwe (posted 28th March
Official figures released this February estimate the current annual
inflation rate in Zimbabwe at 100,580%, by far the highest in the world.
Government attempts to curb inflation through price control programmes
have failed, serving instead to compound shortages and accelerate Zimbabwe’s
move from a food secure country to one with widespread hunger. The map,
which comes from ESDS International’s visualization interface,
shows the variation in consumer price inflation across Africa.
Data Source: IMF World Economic Outlook
Ethnicity and politics in Kenya (posted 6th February
The outbreaks of violence since the disputed election of December 2007
have highlighted the ethnic divides in Kenya, traditionally thought
of as one of Africa's most stable democracies. Data from Afrobarometer
shows the ruling Kikuyu overwhelmingly support the incumbent President,
while the Luo and Kalenjin ally themselves with different ethnically
based opposition parties. It is worth noting that all parties receive
some support from all three groups.
Data Source: Afrobarometer, Round 3, 2005.