Thursday, November 10, 2011

A trivia teaser

When I was helping LJ to throw together some questions for an ‘experimental’ quiz at 12 Square Metres the other week (we’re still undecided as to whether there’s any scope for trying to launch our own weekly quiz; I favour waiting until after the miserable months of winter are behind us), I was reminded of the Wikipedia page on comparative national GDP (nominal) per capita, which I first happened upon for work reasons a year or so ago. The three main rankings are compiled by the World Bank, the IMF, and the CIA World Factbook. Because of differences of methodology in drawing up the rankings (e.g., over whether or not to include citizens’ personal income earned overseas), these three tables are rather different.

In the 2010 lists, only THREE countries appeared in the top five on all three – what were they?

I’ll post the answer below later.


Froog said...

No takers yet?

This one, of course, goes out mainly to my erstwhile quizzing partner The British Cowboy...

The British Cowboy said...

I got one out of two. Happy with that...

Froog said...

Good headwork, BC.

It was a bit of a surprising selection in many ways, wasn't it? I'm not sure I understand how one of them comes to be up that high!

Gary said...

I'm guessing it has to be two of the smaller oil states. Qatar and Abu Dhabi?

Froog said...

On the right track, Gary.

The IMF list is...

1) Luxembourg

2) Norway

3) Qatar

4) Switzerland

5) U.A.E.

The World Bank list...

1) Monaco

2) Liechtenstein

3) Luxembourg

4) Norway

5) Switzerland

And the CIA World Factbook says...

1) Liechtenstein

2) Luxembourg

3) Norway

4) Qatar

5) Switzerland

So, there are three that are common to all three lists: Luxembourg,Norway, and Switzerland. (Sorry, I had that wrong at first. Don't know how I can have missed that! I half suspect that Wikipedia article has been changed recently.)

Qatar very nearly made it in (the World Bank's recognition of the income of millionaire tax exiles puts Monaco top, and so bumps Qatar down to No. 6 in their ranking).

And if you do it on the basis of Purchasing Power Parity, Singapore leaps up alongside the leaders.

The British Cowboy said...

Luxemburg was the one I got. Mad I didn't get Norway.

I don't recognize Switzerland a country.

Froog said...

Luxembourg has secret oil reserves??

Switzerland has much more country-level recognisability than Luxembourg, I would say.

What was that Frank Zappa once said? To be a credible country you need your own airline and your own beer. Does The Lux make it on either count?

The British Cowboy said...

Countries that picked neutrality in WWII and who don't have the decency to be ashamed of it/actively lie about their collaboration don't meet my nationhood criteria.

Froog said...

I see your point, BC, but if moral shabbiness were a disqualifying criterion, UN membership would be in single figures.

And I imagine Luxembourg had its fair share of collaborators too.

The British Cowboy said...

No doubt. But they were, at least, invaded first. There's something eminently despicable about the Swiss behavior. On the one hand they tout their neutrality as some kind of badge of honor. On the other they did everything they could to profit from the war and the attendant atrocities. Then spent decades hiding it and refusing to assist those it style from.

And don't start me on "neutral"countries that

provided refueling facilities for U boats...

Sorry... Cranky mood today.