Thursday, March 25, 2010

A very important collection of other-statistics

There’s too much talk about the academic attainment of places like Finland and Singapore in education babble these days. Americans would be wise to stop dwelling on the international comparisons of student test scores.

Instead, we need to take a serious look at other indicators, such as the ones below. Then, we should begin the conversation about how much the figures are a reflection of our deeper attitudes about families and children. And that is not a pretty picture.

Mostly, we need to stop getting distracted by comparing ourselves to the Joneses and start to deal with our own enormous flaws. And we especially need to put an end to that fixation on supposed inadequacies of public school teachers. The failures of our children aren't the teachers' fault.

The figures are from the well-reviewed site NationMaster which draws from international studies and always cites the source. Note: "=" means a tie with other countries.

So read up. "Thar’s gold in them thar hills."

HOME AND FAMILY LIFE

Soft drink consumption (Litres per person per year)

# 1 United States: 216 litres

# 2 Ireland: 126 litres

= 3 Canada: 119.8 litres

# 15 Finland: 52 litres

# 17 France: 37.2 litres

Households with television (Households with television are the share of households with a television set. Some countries report only the number of households with a color television set, and therefore the true number may be higher than reported.)

# 2 Norway: 99.97 % 2002

= 9 Canada: 99 % 2003

= 9 Japan: 99 % 2004

# 23 United States: 97.84 % 2002

# 25 United Kingdom: 97.5 % 2001

# 48 Finland: 94.1 % 2005

Television viewing (hours per person per week)

= 1 United Kingdom: 28 hours

= 1 United States: 28 hours

= 11 Finland: 18 hours

= 11 Norway: 18 hours

= 11 Sweden: 18 hours

Infant mortality rate

# 1 Angola: 182.31 deaths/1,000 live births

# 3 Afghanistan: 154.67 deaths/1,000 live births

= 111 Mexico: 19.01 deaths/1,000 live births

# 185 United States: 6.3 deaths/1,000 live births

# 194 Canada: 5.08 deaths/1,000 live births

# 219 Finland: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births

Abortions (per capita)

# 1 Russia: 19.2885 per 1,000 people

# 6 United States: 4.0945 per 1,000 people

# 15 Finland: 1.8924 per 1,000 people

Teenage birth rate (The number of births to women aged below 20 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.)

# 1 United States: 52.1

# 2 United Kingdom: 30.8

# 8 Canada: 20.2

# 20 Finland: 9.2

# 27 Japan: 4.6

Age of women at first childbirth

# 1 New Zealand: 29.9 years old

# 8 Finland: 27.4 years old

= 14 United States: 24.9 years old

Marriage rate (Number of marriages per 1,000 people per year)

# 1 United States: 9.8

# 2 Russia: 8.9

# 10 United Kingdom: 6.8

# 26 Finland: 4.8

Divorce rate (Number of divorces per 1,000 people per year)

# 1 United States: 4.95

# 3 Russia: 3.36

# 4 United Kingdom: 3.08

# 9 Finland: 1.85

Lone parent families

# 1 Canada: 11%

# 2 United Kingdom: 10%

= 3 United States: 9%

= 3 Finland: 9%

= 18 Japan: 5%

= 18 Germany: 5%

# 23 Sweden: 3%

Paid maternity leave

Brazil - 120 days

Canada - 55% up to $413/week for 50 weeks (15 weeks maternity + 35 weeks parental leave shared with father)

Costa Rica - 4 months

Finland - 105 days

Japan - 14 weeks

Singapore - 12 weeks

United Kingdom - 6 weeks (90%) 20 weeks at a fixed amount (as of March 2006 = £108.85)

United States - 0 weeks

Working mothers (Working proportion of mothers with children under 6 years old 2001)

# 1 Sweden: 76

# 8 United States: 61

= 9 Finland: 59

# 12 United Kingdom: 55

Trade union membership

# 1 Sweden: 82%

= 2 Finland: 76%

# 9 Canada: 30%

# 10 United Kingdom: 29%

# 11 Germany: 26%

= 14 New Zealand: 22%

= 14 Japan: 22%

# 17 United States: 13%

ECONOMIC

Child poverty (Child poverty index is defined as the share of the children living in the households with income below 50% of the national median.)

# 1 Mexico: 26.2

# 2 United States: 22.4

#7 Canada: 15.5

#13 Germany: 10.7

# 21 Finland: 4.3

Population below median income (Percentage of population living below 50% of median income.)

# 1 Mexico: 22.1

# 2 Russia: 20.1

# 3 United States: 17

# 24 Sweden: 6.6

# 25 Finland: 5.4

Income distribution: Poorest 10% [The share of income or consumption (%) held by the poorest 10%]

= 1 Belarus: 5.1%

= 1 Slovakia: 5.1%

# 3 Japan: 4.8%

= 7 Finland: 4.2%

= 7 Rwanda: 4.2%

= 84 Burundi: 1.8%

= 84 Mali: 1.8%

= 84 United States: 1.8%

Income distribution: Richest 10% [The share of income or consumption (%) held by the richest 10%]

# 1 Swaziland: 50.2%

# 2 Nicaragua: 48.8%

# 3 Brazil: 48%

# 54 United States: 30.5%

# 108 Japan: 21.7%

# 109 Finland: 21.6%

PSYCHOLOGICAL

Child maltreatment deaths

= 1 Mexico: 2.2 per 100,000 children

= 1 United States: 2.2 per 100,000 children

= 7 Canada: 0.7 per 100,000 children

= 7 Finland: 0.7 per 100,000 children

= 24 Italy: 0.2 per 100,000 children

= 24 Ireland: 0.2 per 100,000 children

# 27 Spain: 0.1 per 100,000 children

Cannabis use (Percentage share of people who have used cannabis, generally including people 15 and above. Different nations have, however, focussed their studies on different age groups.)

# 1 New Zealand: 22.23%

# 2 Australia: 17.93%

# 3 United States: 12.3%

# 4 United Kingdom: 9%

# 21 Finland: 2.49%

# 25 Sweden: 0.98%

# 26 Japan: 0.05%

Amphetamine use (Percentage of people who have used amphetamines, generally for ages 15 and over.)

# 1 Australia: 3.6%

# 2 United Kingdom: 3%

# 6 United States: 0.7%

= 20 Sweden: 0.19%

= 20 Finland: 0.19%

# 22 Canada: 0.15%

Happiness level: Not very or not at all happy (Proportion of people who answered the survey question "Taking all things together, would you say you are: very happy, quite happy, not very happy, or not at all happy?" by stating that they were "not very" happy or "not at all" happy.)

# 1 Bulgaria: 62%

= 31 Japan: 14%

# 34 Canada: 12%

= 36 Finland: 8%

= 36 United States: 8%

= 39 United Kingdom: 7%

= 44 Australia: 5%

Happiness level: Very happy (Proportion of people who answered the survey question: "Taking all things together, would you say you are: very happy, quite happy, not very happy, or not at all happy?" by stating that they were "Very happy".)

# 1 Venezuela: 55%

# 2 Nigeria: 45%

= 7 United States: 39%

# 28 Uruguay: 21%

= 29 Finland: 20%

# 31 Bangladesh: 18%

Suicide rates in ages 15-24

# 1 New Zealand: 26.7 per 100,000 people

# 2 Finland: 22.8 per 100,000 people

= 4 Canada: 15 per 100,000 people

= 4 Austria: 15 per 100,000 people

# 7 United States: 13.7 per 100,000 people

EDUCATION

Average years of schooling of adults

# 1 United States: 12

# 4 Canada: 11.6

# 6 Australia: 10.9

# 8 Germany: 10.2

# 9 Finland: 10

= 35 Mexico: 7.2

= 35 Italy: 7.2

= 83 Haiti: 2.8

Duration of compulsory education

= 1 Germany: 13 years

= 1 Netherlands: 13 years

= 7 New Zealand: 12 years

= 7 United Kingdom: 12 years

= 7 United States: 12 years

= 34 Finland: 10 years

= 34 Mexico: 10 years

= 34 Japan: 10 years

= 34 Russia: 10 years

Adults at high literacy level

# 1 Sweden: 35.5%

# 2 Norway: 29.4%

= 4 Finland: 25.1%

= 4 Canada: 25.1%

# 8 United Kingdom: 19.1%

# 9 United States: 19%

# 10 Germany: 18.9%

# 11 New Zealand: 17.6%

Adults at low literacy level

# 1 Portugal: 80.1%

# 5 New Zealand: 50.6%

# 6 United Kingdom: 50.4%

# 7 United States: 49.6%

# 10 Canada: 42.9%

# 13 Finland: 36.8%

Public spending on education: % of GDP

# 1 Kiribati: 16.53 % 2002

# 6 Cuba: 9.77 % 2005

# 19 Sweden: 7.53 % 2003

# 31 Finland: 6.53 % 2003

# 45 United States: 5.85 % 2003

# 48 Mexico: 5.79 % 2003

= 64 Canada: 5.23 % 2002

Public spending on education: % of government expenditure

# 1 Yemen: 32.78 % 2000

# 5 Saudi Arabia: 27.57 % 2004

# 70 United States: 15.25 % 2003

# 71 Denmark: 15.08 % 2003

# 101 Finland: 12.82 % 2003

Student attitude: Dislike of school

# 1 Belgium: 42%

# 2 Italy: 38%

# 5 United States: 35%

# 12 Finland: 26%

= 13 Japan: 25%

= 13 Germany: 25%

Student attitude: Find school boring

# 1 Ireland: 67%

# 2 United States: 61%

= 3 Finland: 60%

= 16 France: 32%

= 16 Japan: 32%

CRIME

Prisoners (per capita)

# 1 United States: 715 per 100,000 people

# 2 Russia: 584 per 100,000 people

# 3 Belarus: 554 per 100,000 people

= 113 Finland: 71 per 100,000 people

Adults prosecuted (per capita)

# 1 United States: 48.029 per 1,000 people

# 2 Finland: 31.6349 per 1,000 people

# 3 New Zealand: 31.059 per 1,000 people

Murders (per capita)

# 1 Colombia: 0.617847 per 1,000 people

# 2 South Africa: 0.496008 per 1,000 people

# 5 Russia: 0.201534 per 1,000 people

# 6 Mexico: 0.130213 per 1,000 people

# 24 United States: 0.042802 per 1,000 people

# 30 Finland: 0.0283362 per 1,000 people

% homicides with firearms

# 1 Thailand: 79.5805

# 3 Colombia: 45.2092

# 7 United States: 39.5604

# 17 Mexico: 20.6051

# 21 Australia: 16.3435

# 32 Singapore: 2.6316

Additional information

Re single parent trends, from the Census Bureau:

The growth rate of single parents was nearly 4 percent a year in the first half of the 1990s, but that growth rate, which establishes a trend for the remainder of the present decade, was not significantly different from that of the 1980s, the Commerce Department's Census Bureau reported today.

And, according to the report titled, "Household and Family Characteristics: March 1994," P20-483, the numerical decline in 2-parent families that began in the 1970s and stabilized in the 1980s appears to have reversed during the first half of the 1990s. There were about 25.1 million married-couple families with children in the United States in 1994, an increase of about 521,000 since 1990, the report said.

There were an estimated 11.4 million single-parents in 1994. Of that number, 9.0 million owned or rented their own home, 1.8 million lived in a relative's home (related subfamilies), and 650,000 lived in the home of a non-relative (unrelated subfamilies).

In 1994, there were about 9.9 million single mothers versus 1.6 million single fathers. About 38 percent of single parents in 1994 had never been married, and roughly the same proportion were divorced at the time.

Single parents accounted for almost two-thirds (65 percent) of all African American family groups with children present, compared with 35 percent among Hispanics and 25 percent among Whites.

Re childhood obesity trends, from the CDE:

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.

Re the dramatic rise in daily media use among children and teens, from the Kaiser Family Foundation:

With technology allowing nearly 24-hour media access as children and teens go about their daily lives, the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, especially among minority youth, according to a study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of that time ‘media multitasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.

4 comments:

The Reflective Educator said...

Interesting about soft drink consumption. No surprise there.

nikto said...

A recent article of interest from Truthdig:

http://www.truthdig.com/dig/print/questions_education_reformers_arent_asking_2010031

The Perimeter Primate said...

GREAT RESOURCE:

Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries; A comprehensive assessment of the lives and well-being of children and adolescents in the economically advanced nations

UNICEF
Innocenti Research Centre
Report Card 7

http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc7_eng.pdf

The Perimeter Primate said...

Child poverty rates from the 2007 UNICEF report

# 1 Mexico: 26.2
# 2 United States: 22.4
# 3 Italy: 20.5
# 4 United Kingdom: 19.8
# 5 Turkey: 19.7
# 6 Ireland: 16.8
# 7 Canada: 15.5
# 8 Poland: 15.4
# 9 Australia: 12.6
= 10 Greece: 12.3
= 10 Spain: 12.3
# 12 Japan: 12.2
# 13 Germany: 10.7
# 14 Hungary: 10.3
# 15 France: 7.9
# 16 Netherlands: 7.7
# 17 Czech Republic: 5.9
# 18 Denmark: 5.1
# 19 Luxembourg: 4.5
# 20 Belgium: 4.4
# 21 Finland: 4.3
# 22 Norway: 3.9
# 23 Sweden: 2.6

----------------------

OECD MEMBER COUNTRIES
Twenty countries originally signed the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on 14 December 1960. Since then thirteen countries have become members of the Organisation. The Member countries of the Organisation and the dates on which they deposited their instruments of ratification are:

1. AUSTRALIA: 7 June 1971
2. AUSTRIA: 29 September 1961
3. BELGIUM: 13 September 1961
4. CANADA: 10 April 1961
5. CHILE: 7 May 2010
6. CZECH REPUBLIC: 21 December 1995
7. DENMARK: 30 May 1961
8. FINLAND: 28 January 1969
9. FRANCE: 7 August 1961
10. GERMANY: 27 September 1961
11. GREECE: 27 September 1961
12. HUNGARY: 7 May 1996
13. ICELAND: 5 June 1961
14. IRELAND: 17 August 1961
15. ISRAEL: 7 September 2010
16. ITALY: 29 March 1962
17. JAPAN: 28 April 1964
18. KOREA: 12 December 1996
19. LUXEMBOURG: 7 December 1961
20. MEXICO: 18 May 1994
21. NETHERLANDS: 13 November 1961
22. NEW ZEALAND: 29 May 1973
23. NORWAY: 4 July 1961
24. POLAND: 22 November 1996
25. PORTUGAL: 4 August 1961
26. SLOVAK REPUBLIC: 14 December 2000
27. SLOVENIA: 21 July 2010
28. SPAIN: 3 August 1961
29. SWEDEN: 28 September 1961
30. SWITZERLAND: 28 September 1961
31. TURKEY: 2 August 1961
32. UNITED KINGDOM: 2 May 1961
33. UNITED STATES: 12 April 1961