Infographics: Happiness Index Around the World

happiness around the world


A data visualization beautifully compiled by, which specializes in assisting people moving overseas. And here are the findings:

1. Latin America may be plagued with violence (especially drug wars, gun battles between gangsters and security forces, and many nefarious things else to describe), but surprisingly, majority of the people are living a happy life (exception for Bolivia and Uruguay, which, in recent years, have pretty low rates of violent crime).

2. US and Russia score very low on happiness. US is still dealing with some remaining effects of the 2008 depression, and is now getting torn in reignited racial division, while Russia has seen its economy significantly crumble due to sanctions imposed by Western countries in regard to the Ukrainian crisis which is still ongoing (and also high depression rates with a rapid decline in population).

3. The Latin American model can’t always be replicated in Africa. Most of the African countries, with the exception of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Madagascar, are still struggling to cope with sporadic violence, ethnic riots, and sectarian crises dividing the nations, despite high economic growth in recent years (Ebola is not as sporadic as those above)

4. Surprisingly, Syrians and Iraqis remain ‘happy’. I’m not sure what the researchers in Movehub do that define their happiness as real ‘happy’, but what I can assume from this point is that in wars, everyone suffers, and everyone does the very hard to become ‘happy’. Perhaps that can be an explanation.

5. Where are South Korea and Taiwan? The results are somewhat unclear, but in the case of Korea, it is very well-known that this country has the world’s highest suicide rate, given the country’s somewhat unforgiving competition in most aspects. Singapore, another Asian tiger, also faces the same thing.

What else can you observe from the visualization? Share your thoughts.


Source: Business Insider (Singapore)


Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?

good country index


Globalization has brought numerous changes across the whole world, be it positive and negative. It frees up nation-states, breaks political and geographical boundaries, and enables an increasingly faster exchange of ideas, monies, products, and people than ever. Nonetheless, it also creates new problems as well: global warming, transnational crime, the overwhelming control of multinational corporations, influx of foreign products and culture, and erosion of traditional values, are just a handful compared to countless effects this trend has brought in in these recent days.

The largest problem, however, is all the nation-states’ failure to well adapt to such phenomenon, and their over-tendencies to focus inwards, rather than outwards. As though ‘every country itself were an island on its own’, according to Simon Anholt, a policy adviser having brought expertise to governments worldwide.

What he wants, right now, is a new approach taken by leaders and societies in response to problems taking place today, not a conventional one that had been in place for two or three centuries or so. One by which domestic and international agenda can be synchronized altogether, one that not only satisfies the people’s well-beings, but also improve the countries’ image abroad. And, most importantly, the country that cares not just for the sake of the nation, in this 21st-century context, but also the rest of humanity.

Firstly, Anholt had released Nation Brand Index in 2005 to list countries which have the most positive image among people overseas. Right now, he has another index on his own hand, measuring which countries contribute the most to the whole world (and not necessarily in financial terms): Good Country Index. Having gathered huge datasets, and analysis by numerous experts across different fields, they have listed nations which contribute the most for the world’s well-beings. And you must be curious which countries rank on the top.

PS: it’s not United States. It’s not even China.


Watch the brilliant TED talk here.


Infographic: How powerful is your passport?

passport infographic


Dear Americans and Europeans, the world is now instantly easy under your grab by means of your passports! Without so many requirements, your passports can be easily applied across nearly all countries worldwide (even though you should consider countries like Iran, Syria, or North Korea).

Nope, even if you don’t belong to these groups, at the least, you can expect yourself to be relieved, as long as you are either a Malaysian or a Singaporean, or even from sub-national entities like Hong Kong or Macau, the passports are acceptable in more than 150 countries worldwide. That said, you are much luckier than a Russian (whose preceding state, the Soviet Union, was once a superpower), or even someone from mainland China (whose country, analysts say, is being considered for the throne of superpower in the future; only 43 countries do accept their passports flesh-and-blood).

Nonetheless, my dear Indonesians, we are not that lucky, somehow; thanks to our low-sounding diplomatic prowess, only 53 countries acknowledge the validity of our documents with no other hullabaloos, much less widespread even to countries like Papua New Guinea (75 in total).

What about countries whose legal basis is being questioned by other sovereigns? Taiwan, thanks to its economic leverage and its remaining diplomatic prestige (22 countries, mostly small and underdeveloped, still recognize Taiwan as the sole successor of China), remains among the top, with 130 countries admitting their passports.

Afghanistan and Iraq may remain the least powerful states, but again, you should feel sorry for our fellows in Somaliland though. (they are completely unrecognized by any sovereign nation-state, but they succeed better than the rest of Somalia).



Saving dying Kiribati




Many little countries, as a consequence of global warming, are dying. Maldives, a country populated by no more than 350,000 people, and bulk of which is scattered in atolls and small isles vulnerable to every slight bit of rise in sea level, is one example. Tuvalu, a smaller one, populated by only 10,000 people, is a similar case: their area stretches no larger than 10 sq km, and depends mostly on foreign aid to sustain the livelihood.

This time, Bloomberg Businessweek picks up Kiribati, another island country in South Pacific Ocean inhabited by only 100,000 people, as their case study. What happens as with the global warming? A whole nation is being put at perils of extinction. Or indirectly speaking, a ‘genocide’ is being triggered out. Unless the world reaches a hardly-won consensus among developed and Third-World nations, more countries like Kiribati will face their own imminent destruction.

Read the full article here.


Kiribati is a flyspeck of a United Nations member state, a collection of 33 islands necklaced across the central Pacific. Thirty-two of the islands are low-lying atolls; the 33rd, called Banaba, is a raised coral island that long ago was strip-mined for its seabird-guano-derived phosphates. If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. Water expands as it warms, and the oceans have lately received colossal quantities of melted ice. A recent study found that the oceans are absorbing heat 15 times faster than they have at any point during the past 10,000 years. Before the rising Pacific drowns these atolls, though, it will infiltrate, and irreversibly poison, their already inadequate supply of fresh water. The apocalypse could come even sooner for Kiribati if violent storms, of the sort that recently destroyed parts of the Philippines, strike its islands.

For all of these reasons, the 103,000 citizens of Kiribati may soon become refugees, perhaps the first mass movement of people fleeing the consequences of global warming rather than war or famine.

Infographics: how 5 countries could become 14

future map

Actually, combined with the possible city-states, and one ‘missing’ plenipotentiary, the number could be instead 18.

Sorry, I was instead counting ‘Sunnistan’ as two separate countries – Syria and Iraq.

Source: The New York Times