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 3)
on Nov 20, 2013

You forgot maple syrup and poutine!

on Nov 21, 2013

Canada is just a larger version of Norway. Cold and civilized

A Norwegian newspaper "lost" 20 wallets in Oslo (capital of Norway) a few days back. 15 were returned. There are still good people around in this world l

on Nov 27, 2013
I live in USA near border with Canada. Canadian bacon is way better tasting and healthier than USA bacon. Really, eh. (Would love to emigrate to a more civil place like Canada - but don't have enough points [not young enough, no cutting edge skills, and not rich] to be accepted.) Lost wallets? My ex husband found a wallet, returned it, and made a wonderful friend for life.
on Nov 27, 2013

ElanaAhova
Would love to emigrate to a more civil place like Canada - but don't have enough points [not young enough, no cutting edge skills, and not rich

I am going to give away Canada's biggest secret 

At the border, just say "USA sucks, I love hockey." and you're in 

It's our "OpenSaysAMe"

on Nov 27, 2013

Oh, and you wanna really know why the world is obsessed with Canadian beaver? Check this out

on Nov 27, 2013

Understandable viewpoint, but why not compare the EU to the US? Would that not 'even up the playing field'?

on Nov 27, 2013

The real issue isn't that these countries are small, it's that they are more homogenous, and in Norway's case, has oil riches.

 

That said, just because those countries are small doesn't mean you handwave those ideas.  Just because the US is a large, heterogenous countries doesn't mean those policies won't work, or that our current policies do work.

 

If you took this argument to its logical conclusion- it would state that Massachusetts should consider secession, it would be better off without the rest of the US dragging it down.

 

That said, I do feel that if the South won the Civil War- the differences between the south and the north would be similar to the differences between the two Germanies in 1989, if the South didn't become a failed state by 1900.

 

 

on Nov 28, 2013

the_Monk

 

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?  

I do like Canada lot!

on Nov 28, 2013

Frogboy
I do like Canada lot!

So do I.... but almost our sum-total of wildlife in a couple of weeks there was one squirrel.

We DID manage a photo of a bear, though.....took it from a billboard....

on Nov 28, 2013

We're moving Canada up to 1st place on our list. Is it difficult to gain citizenship there , or at the very least have extended stay privledges ?

on Nov 28, 2013


Quoting Frogboy, reply 38I do like Canada lot!

So do I.... but almost our sum-total of wildlife in a couple of weeks there was one squirrel.

We DID manage a photo of a bear, though.....took it from a billboard....

Where were you?

on Nov 28, 2013

AceMatrix

We're moving Canada up to 1st place on our list. Is it difficult to gain citizenship there , or at the very least have extended stay privledges ?

http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/cometocanada.asp

Getting a skilled trade is probably the easiest way

on Nov 28, 2013

myfist0
http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/cometocanada.asp

Thanks myfist0    !! 

on Nov 28, 2013

AceMatrix
Is it difficult to gain citizenship there , or at the very least have extended stay privledges ?

 

Hell no!  We let anyone/everyone in!     Not really a joke either as that has come back to haunt us at times.....

 

Also as far as I know we are one of those easy-going countries that allows dual-citizenship etc. in all but the most obscure of cases (I have several family members that have dual-citizenship) so for most coming here it truly is winning and more winning!  Also 'extended stay' etc. should be a non-issue........hell we (as a country) have issues deporting known criminals even after their 'stay' here has been revoked in a court!  hehe

 

EDIT:  I see myfist linked you the official word.  Feel free to ignore my ramblings......

 

 

@ Jafo

You must have been staying in the wrong places Jafo.   We live in the suburbs of a city and more 'wildlife' than that in our own backyard! 

on Nov 28, 2013

Actually , I'm retired. Is that a problem ?

EDIT : the rest of the family works of course

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