Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How does Canada fare in The Newsroom’s “greatest country” rant?

One of the best moments of television I’ve seen in awhile is the rant fictional news anchor Will McAvoy gives early in the pilot episode of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, when he’s asked by a student to discuss why he thinks the United States is the greatest country in the world. He proceeds to rhyme off a litany of statistics to outline why feels it no longer is.

I thought it would be interesting to see how Canada fared in the categories outlined by McAvoy.

McAvoy said U.S. was 7th. The OECD ranks the U.S. at 17th. Canada was 6th.

McAvoy said U.S. was 27th. The OECD puts them 31st, and Canada 10th.

McAvoy said U.S. was 22nd. According to the OECD they’re 23rd, and Canada is 8th.

Life Expectancy
McAvoy said U.S. is 49th. According to the CIAWorld Factbook, the US is 50th in the world with a live expectancy of 78.49 years. Canada is 12th, at 81.48 years.

Infant morality
McAvoy put the U.S. at 178th. According to the CIA they’re 174th with 5.98 deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. Canada was 182nd (which is better) at 4.85.

Median household income
McAvoy said the U.S. was 3rd. According to the OECD they’re 2nd, at US$31,111. Canada is 7th, at US$25,363.

Labour Force
McAvoy put the U.S. 4th, and so does the CIA with a labour force of 153.6 million. Canada is 31st at 18.67 million.

McAvoy said the U.S was 4th. According to the CIA they’re third with exports of $1.5 trillion, while Canada was 12th with $450.6 billion.

Incarcerated citizens per capita
McAvoy said the U.S. leads the world and according to the International Centre for Prison Studies they do, with an incarceration rate of 730 out of every 10,000 citizens. Canada is 130th, at 117 per 10,000.

Number of adults who believe angels are real
McAvoy said the U.S. is the world leader, but I couldn’t find any comparative global numbers or rankings. An Associated Press-GfK poll said 77 per cent of Americans believe angels are real, while an Ipsos Reid poll found 66 per cent of Canadians believe the same.

Defence spending
McAvoy put the U.S on top and according to SIPRI they are, at $1.6 trillion. Canada is 14th, at $24.7 billion.

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