Have you ever wondered how large the gap in living standards is between countries? Or how this has changed over time?
An excellent resource to allow you to look at the evidence in a visually engaging and user friendly way is http://www.gapminder.org/
For example, to explore how the Wealth and Health of Nations has changed over time click on the picture below to open Gapminder’s interactive display.
Gapminder also has a series of brief and informative YouTube clips, such as the following video that shows how 200 countries have developed over the last 200 years in just 4 minutes.
A country’s chance of winning the World Cup is strongly related to the size of its population and how rich the population is. Countries with bigger populations have a larger pool from which talented players can be sourced and richer countries are better able to nurture their players. All, except two (Uruguay and Colombia), of the top 15 ranked World Cup teams are from countries that have populations over 8 million people and income per person over US$12,000 a year. These countries have among the highest incomes and largest populations in the world and appear in the top right of the chart below.
Between the World Cup countries, an uneven playing field still exists. The richest qualifying country, Switzerland, has around 80 times more income per person, than the poorest qualifying country, Cameroon. While the largest country in terms of population, the United States, has almost 100 times more people that the smallest country in terms of population, Uruguay.
To learn more about just how uneven the playing field is and what life is like in the poorer World Cup countries, check out this blog http://mattdarvas.com/2014/06/18/the-poorest-world-cup-nations/
World Bank 2014 <http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators>