For the past few hours I’ve been pouring over statistical data compiled by various research firms to determine which country in the world had the best 2006. I am using a complex formula, which I devised myself, taking into account a wide variety of facts and figures including life expectancy, literacy rate, crime, environmental sustainability and corruption, among others. Before we get started, a few highlights and bits of pertinent knowledge:
• You can live longer in an imaginary country (Cote d'Ivoire) than you can in South Africa.
• You can live longer in a mine shaft than you could in Swaziland1 (32.6 years).
• Finland was the only country to rank in the top 3 in all major categories – except for life expectancy, where they ranked a disappointing 39th – begging the question: How are people in Finland dying?
• Austria boasts a 100% literacy rate. (Yeah, right.)
• Burkina Faso, a small West African nation, held its firm grip on last place for literacy rate, dropping 3 percentage points to 12.8%.2
• Zimbabwe leads the world with 585.0% inflation. I don’t even understand inflation but I know they’re fucked.
• The Western Sahara is the lowest densely populated country in the world with 2.7 people per square mile.3
• In a shocking twist, Russia remains the largest country with 6,592,735 square miles of territory, with Canada and the United States finishing second and third.
OK, enough fake statistics. Onto the real story: That, after a lot of studying and math, I have discovered that the U.S.A. ruled 2006! Congratulations, Americans.4
2 There has been much political controversy in Burkina Faso over unpopular President Blaise Compaoré being routinely reelected. The U.N. has released an official statement condemning the voting practices saying “Throwing spears at pictures of the candidates is not an officially recognized method of voting.”
3 I’m going to go out on a limb and call this the Most Inaccurate Statistic Ever. Not because I think it should be much higher or lower, but because who gives a shit? Who is going around the Western Sahara collecting census surveys?
4 It should be noted that in the formula certain factors were weighted more than others, including fossil fuel usage, greenhouse emissions, internet users, airports, number of international disputes, and percentage of white, non-ethnic people.