Sibling Rivalry: Which English colony fared better, the US or Australia?

The USA and Australia share one major point in history: they’re both nations of people formed by citizens the English kicked out. The major difference of course being why.

The colonists in America were kicked out of England for their religious views, which were considered quite radical.

Australia, of course was formed as the English continued to dump their criminals on the island as a prison complex.

So, which is the better foundation for a society? The answer might surprise you.

First let’s hit the brass tacks. The US is comprised of around 310-320 million people, depending on who’s statistics you read. Australia, a much smaller nation, clocks in around 23 million people. Many of the statistics presented in this article will be percentage, or proportion based to avoid any numbers bias.

Australia currently totes a 6th ranking in general healthcare with the United States trailing at 44th. What makes this number so interesting is that the United States spends more than double per capita than Australia on health care. In fact, the united states spends more than any other nation on the planet on health care. This indicates at least one of the following;

Either the United States is spending poorly and planning poorly, or simply more people need medical attention per year. I think there are few folks who would argue against the former, but what about the latter?

The United States obviously has a reputation for violence and specifically gun violence. This is rather well earned before, and certainly cemented after the uniquely American crisis of school shootings in the dozens per year. The Country has the highest gun violence and gun homicide rates of the world. It also boasts a staggeringly high gun suicide rate.

Just how much? The US reports 4.7 homicides per 100 people in the year 2012. This means there were roughly 9,960 gun homicides alone that year. If the same rate were applied this year it would move those numbers to 10,288. Sixty 67.5% of homicides in the US are by firearm. There is no country that reports anywhere near those rates of gun homicides.

Australia, to contrast, ranks 42nd compared to the United States 1st place ranking in gun violence. There are around 30 gun homicides per 100  people equating to roughly 3,050,000 gun homicides in 2012.

An interesting takeaway is that in Australia there are around .14 guns per 100,000 citizens where the US totes 88.89 guns per 100 citizen. This number doesn’t even include military firearms. There are around 270 million civilian firearms available in the USA. This means that every single adult in the country can own a gun, and more over.

A firearm costs anywhere between one hundred to several thousand dollars. You can purchase a healthy meal to cook at home for around five to ten dollars. How is there a food crisis in the United States?

The US also ranks first in percentage of the population in prison. There are around 2,217,000 inmates in the country, meaning almost 10 percent of the country’s population is behind bars. Australia pops up at 47th on this list, with  just .0015% of their population locked up ( around 35,804).

Americans hold one point of pride very close to heart: their freedom. So where do these two countries stack up? the United States tracks 44th in freedom of the press rankings. This trails behind Australia, who came in at 28. In addition, Fiscal freedom and corruption rankings don’t paint a much prettier picture with the US at 12th and Australia at 4th.

How did a prison colony manage to be more free than a land founded on the principle of freedom of (or from) religion?

The Takeaway:

Morality, government and growth are not determined by faith. In addition, perception is all in the presentation.

Sources:http://www.prisonstudies.org/highest-to-lowest/prison-population-total?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All
http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2014-09-15/most-efficient-health-care-around-the-world.html

http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2012/pisa2012highlights_5a.asp

http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php#

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/gun-homicides-ownership/table/

healthcare spending http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/health-costs-how-the-us-compares-with-other-countries/

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