Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

Every few weeks someone writes an article comparing some amazing statistic from the Nordic countries in Europe and then compares that statistic to the United States in total.  It’s always some ridiculous apples and oranges comparison that results in a meaningless comparison.

So just as a reminder, the populations of these countries are:

  • Sweden: 9.5 million
  • Denmark: 5.6 million
  • Finland: 5.4 million
  • Norway: 5 million

In addition, demographically and culturally they are relatively homogenous.

By contrast, the United States has a population of 314 million. 

Next time you see someone playing the stats game with a Nordic vs. USA make it a bit more relevant.

Let’s use a US state that is similar to Nordic countries like say Massachusetts: Population 6.7 million.

  Mass Sweden
Population 6.7m 9.5m
White 84% ~98%
Lifespan 80.1 81.2
GDP per capita $58,108 $57,297
Incarceration rate per 100k 218 67
Dominant Religion Catholic 44% Evangelical Lutheran: 94%
Mean income per person $33,966 $21,1193

Now, I picked Massachusetts originally because it has some similar basic demographics (population and culture).  Though, as you can see even here, while Massachusetts is relatively homogenous for a US state, it can’t touch Sweden.

None of this is meant to make one look better than the other. In fact, the chart above makes it clear that both have their own strengths.  The point is that when someone tries to compare a homogenous nation state with a population of that of a smallish US state with the entire United States, put on your skeptics hat on.


Comments (Page 2)
on Nov 13, 2013

In this case you are using "white" as shorthand for one homogenous culture. It really has little to do with race, per see, but more with distinct cultures. It is easier to design, implement and sell large national initiatives when you only have to worry about one major culture, rather than 2 or 3 or 12.

on Nov 13, 2013

psychoak
Crime rates in the US have been falling or holding steady over a period where they've multiplied by several times in Sweden.

I'd think that incarceration rates per 100,000 of the population would be a yardstick...

USA...716

Sweden...67

[Australia...130] ...

Of course...Capital Punishment might skew them a tad .... but again that's [partly] the US...

on Nov 13, 2013

Kantok
In this case you are using "white" as shorthand for one homogenous culture. It really has little to do with race, per see, but more with distinct cultures.

This is true, though to be fair there tends to be a strong relationship between "race" and "culture"...it may not be politically correct, but it is real...it is hard to statistically quantify how many followers there are of each "subculture", but it is much easier to quantify how many people there are of each race or religion....it's not perfect but no correlation is, and I think looking at the racial and religious background of a population is fair for this purpose...

on Nov 13, 2013

Borg999

It the fault of those darn Socialist..er I mean Communist, wait no, I mean Anarchist.

I forget, which group is the latest boggie man?

We live in 'Merica. We're different. When we get sick, we just yank out our own tonsils. Don't need no commie pinko liberal nanny single payor state doing it for us.

Go USA!!

You know, it's blatently obvious what this thinly veiled topic is really saying, and what the discussion willl ultimately lead into.

Might as well allow politics in these forums because taking the "long route" to say what you really mean is tiresome.

If that's the case, it's because you're bringing it with you. 

on Nov 13, 2013

Borg999
 


But, why are the arguments less valid when compared to a mostly "white" nation?

Because racially homogenous countries face different challenges than those that are racially diverse.  For example, Americans tend to be ready to fling the race card at any opportunity...

on Nov 13, 2013



Quoting psychoak, reply 15Crime rates in the US have been falling or holding steady over a period where they've multiplied by several times in Sweden.

I'd think that incarceration rates per 100,000 of the population would be a yardstick...

USA...716

Sweden...67

[Australia...130] ...

Of course...Capital Punishment might skew them a tad .... but again that's [partly] the US...

LOL.  Jafo, you just provided an example of why this post exists.

You just compared Sweden to the entire United States.  I even included the incarceration rate per 100,000 in the original post.

Massachusetts has an incarceration rate of 218 (and it's not even the lowest rate in the US) compared to the average for the USA which is (according to your stat) 716.  That's a huge variance. That's why it's not useful to compare the entirety of the US to a 7 million population country.

on Nov 13, 2013

Frogboy
LOL. Jafo, you just provided an example of why this post exists.

Yes, but it was in response to psychoak's comment re crimerates being static...they're on average statically high...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate 

I'm sure there are comparable population numbers/densities in the countries listed there - interestingly all of whom have lower rates...

Australia...oft refered to as that 'land of convicts' isn't all that bad...

on Nov 19, 2013



Quoting Frogboy, reply 21LOL. Jafo, you just provided an example of why this post exists.

Yes, but it was in response to psychoak's comment re crimerates being static...they're on average statically high...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate 

I'm sure there are comparable population numbers/densities in the countries listed there - interestingly all of whom have lower rates...

Australia...oft refered to as that 'land of convicts' isn't all that bad...

Interesting list there.

on Nov 20, 2013

AceMatrix
We are seriously looking at other countries where we can feel a better sense of personal freedom & more positive environment for raising a family.

I can tell you that moving to Norway is the best thing I ever did in my life (I grew up in the Finger Lakes in Upstate NY). 20 years here and still going!

on Nov 20, 2013

Denmark's fine too, eh Snowy? But they talk funny there!

on Nov 20, 2013

Sweden that much lower in income per person? 98% "white". Really? Where are those numbers from?

 

I am Norwegian by the way

on Nov 20, 2013

@Jafo, Australia is the lucky country. Lucky if you don't get eaten by sharks, crocs, snakes, spiders, stung by jellyfish, burned in massive bush fires, drowned in apocalyptic floods, eaten by biblical swarms of locusts. We have none of that in New Zealand

 

Sorry, can't resist hassling big ugly brother Australia.

 

 

on Nov 20, 2013

ChungasRevenge
@Jafo, Australia is the lucky country. Lucky if you don't get eaten by sharks, crocs, snakes, spiders, stung by jellyfish, burned in massive bush fires, drowned in apocalyptic floods, eaten by biblical swarms of locusts. We have none of that in New Zealand



Sorry, can't resist hassling big ugly brother Australia.

You have Earthquakes....

on Nov 20, 2013

Finn here.

There is not much left. We fail at politics: we lost our religion, currency, laws..... 

Alcohol is still here so we good...

our leaders tried to take it from us...TRIED

on Nov 20, 2013

 

You guys are all wrong. 

Canada is the greatest place on earth to live.  We have beavers, polar bears and well.......bacon!   Oh and if you happen to be in politics you can be a crack-addict and still run a city!   Does it get any better?  

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