We've been collecting maps for the past month or so.
Many will link you up to the story from which they were taken should you wish to pursue it.
We'll start with the Heritage Foundation's 2012 Index of Economic Freedom.
Since 1995, The Heritage Foundation has published this index, the criteria for which is based on the theories of Adam Smith concerning the relationship between freedom, personal liberty and prosperity exressed most notably in his famed book The Wealth of Nations first published in 1776. To quote The Heritage Foundation, "The Index has brought Smith's theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom to life by creating 10 benchmarks that gauge the economic success of 184 countries around the world."
The index dropped across the board in 2012 as the U.S. dropped out of the top five and ranks #10 for 2012. This is probably not a suprise to anyone paying any real attention to the world around us.
The US does however maintain it's status as the world leader in incarcerated ciizens.
Again, you can click on the map for somebody's very nicely done infographic built from information taken from public prison administration records of 184 (I think) nations around the globe. The original compiler is unclear.
It seems likely that Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and probably some others are fudging their numbers down some.
This may shock you, but governments sometimes lie about stuff.
But I digress.
Here's a slightly different approach as this "map" from Unicef links to an outstanding interactive that demonstrates the rate of gtowth of "Urban" Population" in the nations of the world. You really should click on the image as we found this one to be way interesting.
Getting back to that "Economic Freedom" thing, world per capita gross domestic product for the most part trends with economic freedom.
As does "happiness" or and thus "happiness" ..... take your pick.
Along with suicides.
They have their thinking on this issue at Suicide.org who created the map, we're blaming it on that "Urbanization" thing referenced above.
On a more cheerful note, people all over the world are getting fatter.
Saudi Arabia wasn't a suprise, but Jordan, Iraq, Iran and South Africa were ..... at least to us.
World literacy continues to improve.
That's it for today.
To quote Tony Kornheiser,