Sunday, May 1, 2011

Country comparisons, the macro version

 Comparing things in Brazil to things left behind in our country of origin is a favorite pastime for many expats, at least among the newbies.  I’ve found that these comparisons start out listing all the wonderful new things discovered in Brazil that were either not available in the States (or wherever) or are simply way better here (like varieties of bananas or singing at BBQs).
Over time the comparisons switch to the quality of consumer products, or maybe the lack of certain items here in Brazil.
If we don’t check ourselves, the comparisons can spiral out of control and turn into ugly, whiny, bitch sessions.
One of the first realizations expats need to come to, in my opinion, is: DON’T COMPARE.  It will only make you crazy, and probably not a lot of fun to be around. Just live locally and love it.

However – I’ve found this really cool website that ranks countries in terms of numerous points of comparison, like: population, health, crime, sports, wealth, etc.  So let’s have some fun.
Retail shrinkage (shop lifting) as % of sales, 2010.        Brazil:  1.64        USA: 1.5
Prevalence of adult obesity, 2010.       Brazil: male 8.9%, female 13.1%           USA: male 32.2%, female 35.5%
Greenest countries, most livable places, 2008.   Brazil ranks 40th          USA ranks 23rd
Prison population, per 100,000 people.          Brazil: 191         USA: 738
Price of a Big Mac in US$, 2010.          Brazil:  US$5.10          USA: US$3.73
Road traffic deaths, per 100,000 people, 2009.          Brazil: 18.3         USA: 13.9
Circumcised men (%), 2006.    Brazil: 7.4%      USA: >80%
Women in Parliament, 2011.    Brazil: 8.6%      USA: 16.8%
Diabetes prevalence, % of adult population, 2010.      Brazil: 6%       USA: 12.3%
World Cup football championships.  – OK, not fair…

You can find a lot of fun facts to know and tell at this website.


The Reader said...

This post is spot-on. Don't compare really is the key to a contented life here.

LOVE the BMI comparison drawing, and the chart with various things. World Cup championships...yea, not fair. Nice of you to leave that one out ;)

Anita said...

Actually, I love this comparison !! I will share this.

Fiona said...

I like that. Thanks! Very interesting.