Okay, I admit it. It was kind of “nosey” of me to look at what was on my friend, Wendy’s desk. I was spending the night at her house a few months ago and she was showing me her home and we came to her home office.
Her desk was very neat – and I couldn’t help but notice this small, turquoise paperback book titled, “Pocket World in Figures.” It is published by “The Economist” (you know that magazine that you see on the newsstands at airports…right above the Wall Street Journal and Forbes).
So, I picked it up and started thumbing through it.
Part 1 – is a section entitled “World Rankings.” You pick the subject and there is probably a ranking…Highest Population (China) and Median Age (Japan) (those were interesting, no real surprises there).
- Highest Living Standards (Luxembourg) and Quality of Life (Iceland)
- Highest Growth in # of companies (Vietnam)
- Largest Agricultural Output (China, then India, then USA)
- Highest # of Computers per person (Canada, Switzerland, then Netherlands)
- Highest # of beer drinkers (Venezuela)
- Highest # of Champagne drinkers (Guadeloupe)
- Highest # of Alcoholic drinks (Germany)
Yes, there are all sorts of trivia in this book.
Part 2 – is a section by Country. From Algeria to Zimbabwe and every country in between – all sorts of information is right at your fingertips: Population, Economic (like Gross Domestic Product – GDP), Education, Energy, etc.
For example, Percent of Employment in Agriculture: China 41%, Brazil 21%, New Zealand 7%, USA 2%, Israel 2%
Number of Computers per 100 people: Canada 94.3, Norway 62.9, Italy 36.7, Thailand 7.0
It took me a while to find the exact name of the book (I emailed someone at The Economist offices and described what I had seen). And to purchase it took a little while longer – thank goodness for Amazon.com. I purchased a used copy for less than $6.
Not only is this a great gift for student, it’s also an awesome way to learn about the world we live in. Sadly, included in the book are rankings of The Largest Refugee Nationalities (Afghanistan) and Business Software Piracy (Armenia).
So, if you plan to be a contestant on JEOPARDY…I would definitely purchase a copy!
Enjoy the details!
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