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Thursday, October 24, 2013

A pocket guide to how the world is

This week, I got a free subscriber's copy of The Economist's Pocket World in Figures 2014 Edition. It's a comprehensive compilation of facts and figures about the world's geography, demography, business, finance, economy, transport, tourism, environment, society, health, culture and crime. Here are some interesting facts it throws up about India:

  1. India has the largest number of listed domestic companies in the world. It tallied 5,191 at the end of 2012
  2. The cost of living is the second-lowest in the world after Pakistan. Of course, they have been compared with New York
  3. Our people do the most car journeys in the world. The average distance travelled per car per year in India in 2011 was 23,448 km
  4. We have the second longest road network in the world, a stretch of 4,242,371 km. The longest is in the US, 6,533,218 km of road (as of 2011)
  5. We have the world's third largest number of Facebook users (63,793,000) after US (158,923,000) and Brazil (71,865,000)
  6. We had the highest number of visits to the cinema in the world (3.1 billion) in 2011. The US had only 1.3 billion and came second
  7. We are the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China
  8. We've had the 19th highest economic growth between 2001-11. Azerbaijan tops that list
  9. Delhi was the most polluted city in the world in 2009, with 118 micrograms per cubic metre of particulate matter followed by Xian, China at 115 micrograms per cubic metre
  10. We, as a country, are the third largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world after China and the US
  11. 212 species of fish are under threat in India
  12. We have a workforce that comprises 74.7% males while Mozambique has a workforce with 53.2% females (figures for 2012)
  13. We consume the most sugar in the world (23,130,000 tons in 2011)
  14. With a population of 29.3 million, Delhi is all set to become the most populated city in the world after Tokyo in 2020
  15. The average age of mothers giving birth to children in India in 2010 was 25.3, the lowest in the world
  16. India's was the most undervalued currency in the world in January 2013, a comparison of the Big Mac prices showed
  17. India had the fourth largest deficit after the US, Turkey and Italy in 2011
  18. Workers remittances in India were the highest in the world in 2011 amounting to $63 billion
  19. India does not feature in the list of the top 48 fastest growing populations in the World. Qatar tops. 
  20. Kazakhstan, Turkey, Philippines and Indonesia are more competitive in global business that we are
  21. We are not in the list of the 24 countries who come up with innovations or are technology-ready even though we are not in the highest brain-drain list of 12 countries
  22. Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla complex was the 11th most expensive office rent space in the world in the first quarter of 2013
  23. India does not feature in the list of 13 most corrupt countries in the world. Afghanistan tops and North Korea and Somalia are joint second
  24. We do not feature in the list of the 17 countries where businesses use pirated software. Zimbabwe rules
  25. Turkey and Egypt gained more in global stockmarkets between December 31, 2011 and January 2, 2013 than India did
  26. We withdraw 761 billion cubic metres of freshwater every year, the highest in the world
  27. America exports and India imports the most arms
  28. We have the fifth largest number of prisoners, around 372,296. US tops that list as well 

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