‘Everybody’s good at something’ is a phrase people use when they’re trying to sound encouraging. Its usually directed at people that have failed. But can it be directed at whole countries? Well, according to a fascinating new map produced by a journalist, it can.
The map, interestingly called ‘International Number Ones’ was created by David McCandless. Using a strapline ‘because every country is the best at something’ he has used a whole range of data sources to identify which countries come tops for which things.
So we now know that Lithuania has the ‘fastest wifi’, whilst Vietnam comes first for ‘pepper’. ‘Rum’ lovers should head for Puerto Rico and ‘brazil nut’ aficionados should go straight to…Bolivia. ‘Cashew nut’ lovers turn left instead to Cote D’Ivoire.
To say that the map has a few surprises is an understatement. You’d assume that Nigeria would win the prize for ‘spam emails’, but the USA won that one instead. So Nigeria had to settle instead for being the world’s best country at…‘scrabble players’ (we think they’d be pretty relieved at that).
You’d also think, giving its booming economy that China would emerge the top country for ‘billionaires’? Nope, as little old UK bagged that one. So China had to settle instead for ‘Jailed Journalists’. Mmm, we suspect they’ll be less than happy with picking up that particular gong. Although perversely, we suspect their close neighbour North Korea would secretly like winning the award for ‘soldiers’.
The journalist told several national newspapers who reported on the story that ‘it took three weeks of solid work to complete the map, a process that required “roving news articles, rifling big databanks (UN, World Bank, CIA World Factbook) and doing specific Google searches.”
He intended it to be a light hearted graphic’ but there is a surprising twist to it as his colour coding system included black for ‘nasty’.
China’s accolade falls into this category as does, probably unhappily, Australia for ‘cyber security’ incidents. They’re probably also pretty envious now of neighbour Singapore who scooped ‘healthiest people’ or even Malaysia for ‘rubber gloves’.
Closer to home, Ireland got the gong for ‘working conditions’.
It may be light hearted to him but we wonder how many national tourist boards are now furiously rewriting their advertising campaigns. Columbia might. It came top for ‘happiness’.
You can view the map by clicking here.
And talking of happiness, this will be our last blog post for 2016. Can we say a big happy Christmas to all our readers. We welcome you back in 2017.