Map Monday: let’s see just how well the world’s been doing

We can use maps to look at what’s happening to our environment around the world.  We can use maps to look at how weather patterns are changing around the world, or at pollution changes in the world.  We can look use maps to understand where hunger is the most pressing need, or where the lack of education for girls is increasing.  Or where access to food or education for girls is improving.

Today let’s explore a few indicators of how well we’re doing in creating an equitable, safe world for all … using maps, naturally. [Click on a map for more detail.]

GDP per capita around the world


The GDP takes the average of all income, whereas the median is calculated as the value where half the households are above the median and half are below.  The GDP per capita, therefore, is distorted by a small number of very high incomes growing significantly while all other income stays the same.  In that case, the average, or mean, income can rise dramatically while the median barely changes.  A higher GDP per capita than median per capita points to inequality in that society.

Median wealth per capita around the world


Parental leave benefits around the world


Freedom of the press around the world


The scourge of corruption around the world


The World’s Democracies

The Economist Intelligence Unit reviewed factors related to pluralism, civil liberties and political culture to determine if a country is a full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian regime. Of the 167 nations assessed, those that scored the highest in democracy include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. (The map moves from red, meaning less democratic, to green, meaning most democratic.)  Notice that these data are from 2018.  Some things have changed; notably Hong Kong is, sadly, not the same place it was in 2018.


The State of Peace around the world (2021 Global Peace Index)

The overall GPI Score is a composite index measuring the peacefulness of countries made up of 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators each weighted on a scale of 1-5. The lower the score the more peaceful the country.


Happiness around the world

The World Happiness Report is an annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It contains articles and rankings of national happiness, based on respondent ratings of their own lives, which the report also correlates with various life factors.  It changes its focus from time to time in response to major changes, such as examining the impact of COVID on people’s lives in this year’s report.


Here’s hoping for increased peace, happiness, and open, responsive governments throughout the world in 2022.

Image sources: Amazing World Maps, Wikipedia,, Global Peace Index

This entry was posted in Map Monday and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Map Monday: let’s see just how well the world’s been doing

  1. Thanks Jane, this is quite impressive in scope and certainly shows us how fortunate we are living here in Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Map Monday: let’s see just how well the world’s been doing — Robby Robin’s Journey – The Occasional Travel Blog

  3. Fascinating, Jane! I like how you presented so many different indicators. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. boblorentson says:

    Has Canada or New Zealand opened its doors yet? Very enlightening post for a map lover like me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Glad to hear you’re a fellow map lover. If you mean whether Canada or NZ have opened for travellers during COVID, the rules seem to change every week (or day). If you mean whether we’re open for new residents, come on up (or if you aren’t big on winter you can try down under!). 😏😊


  5. dfolstad58 says:

    Wow. Looking at those maps just reminds me how blessed I am to be born in Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fascinating glimpses into the world, Jane. I find it interesting that the data from Canada and Australia and New Zealand are so similar.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wynne Leon says:

    What an interesting and thoughtful post. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Roy McCarthy says:

    You are THE authority on meaningful maps Jane. I like it how we all (presumably) swivel towards our own jurisdictions and compare ourselves with others. Jersey falls under the UK in most instances (and won’t show up on these maps) so we take the UKs glory(?). It’s a sad reflection on the world we’ve created that the ‘richest’ places all have a noticeable proportion of disparity hidden in those headline figures – which you pointed out in the GDP section. A common perception of Jersey is that we’re all lying by swimming pools smoking cigars. In fact our food banks are busier than they’ve ever been.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Roy. Yes, as soon as I came across the median wealth map I knew I was onto something we rarely see, because it looked so odd to see Canada in a higher median wealth category than the US. We all know the Americans are the wealthiest, right? Well, it turns out that some Americans are filthy rich for sure (there are way more billionaires per capita in the US than Canada), and that skewers the average big time. I may have to add more graphs to my maps from time to time, because there are some longitudinal graphs of mean wealth to median by country that show huge growth of inequality in some and not at all in others. I’ll have to look more closely for data on Jersey! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Amruta says:

    Informative and interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Map Monday: let’s see just how well the world’s been doing – What Matters!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.