A Comparison of OECD Countries

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) comprises of 30 countries “that accept the principles of representative democracy and free-market economy. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.” (Source: Wikipedia).

The following are some interesting graphs from the “OECD in Figures 2008 – OECD Observer” published recently:

1.GDP Growth – Average Annual 1988-2007


Key Points:

  • Average Annual Economic Growth in the OECD countries for 20 years to 2007 was 2.8%
  • Korea and Ireland grew at the fastest at over 6.0% per year
  • Canada and USA were the only two countries that grew faster than other OECD countries

2.GDP Per Capita


Key Points:

  • Tiny Luxembourg had the highest per capita at over $80,000 per year
  • Norways’s GDP Per Capita is higher than USA’s
  • Germany and UK have similar rates
  • Japan’s rate is slightly higher than the OECD Average which is surprising.

3.Public Debt (as a % of GDP)


Key Points:

  • Public debt rose quite sharply since 1987
  • Italy’s debt exceeds 100% of its GDP
  • Countries that reduced their public debt – Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain and New Zealand

4. Healthcare Spending as a % of GDP


Key Points:

  • Despite private industry dominance of the healthcare industry, US public spending on health care has risen from 1990-2005
  • The US spends the most on health care than any other OECD country

5. Road Fatalities – Killed per 100,000 population

OECD Road Fatalities

Key Points:

  • In 2006, Greece had the highest road fatalities rate. USA was the next one
  • Countries like Sweden, Norway, Japan have the lowest fatality rates

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