Peter Chow: USA Number One



With 4.2% of the world’s population, the US has the most deaths, over 15% of the world’s deaths, from Covid-19.

As of Nov. 8, of the world’s 251.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, the US has 47.5 million, 19%.

Canada 1.737 million.

As of Oct. 25, of the world’s 5.08 million deaths, the US has 778,316, over 15%.

Canada 29,217.


The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe.

While the United States represents about 4% of the world’s population, it has 22% of the world’s prison population.

As of 2016, there are 2.3 million people incarcerated in America, compared to 1.6 million in China, 747,000 in Brazil, 527,000 in Russia and 421,000 in India.

The U.S. locks up 716 out of every 100,000 people. Norway, in contrast, only 71 out of 100,000, Canada 104.

Japan jails 54 and Iceland locks up only 47 out of 100,000.

Blacks represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 40% of the prison population.

Whites accounted for 64% of the adult population but only 30% of prisoners.

And while Hispanics represented 16% of the adult population, they accounted for 23% of inmates.

Black Americans are incarcerated at nearly 5 times the rate of whites, and Latinx people are 1.3 times as likely to be incarcerated than non-Latinx whites.

High rates of imprisonment seem to derive from a number of factors, including long sentences, the incarceration of non-violent offenders (20% of the prison population is made up of drug offenders) and the privatization trend, in which private corporations rely on “growth” models to increase their profits.

Inhumane conditions abound, from poor care for those suffering from serious diseases like HIV/AIDS to the torture of solitary confinement to rape to abuse of the mentally ill.

There have been 435,112 cases of COVID in the prison population (almost 19% of the total prison population) with 2,641 deaths from COVID (6.1% mortality rate from COVID).


There are over one billion small firearms distributed globally, of which 857 million (about 85%) are in civilian hands.

U.S. civilians alone account for 393 million (about 46%) of the worldwide total of civilian held firearms.

The U.S. has just 4% of the world’s population but owns about 46% of civilian-owned firearms globally.

There are more guns (393 million), in America than there are people (330 million).

The rate of private gun ownership in the U.S. is 119 firearms per 100 individuals.

Yemen, in the midst of a civil war, is second with 52.8 guns per 100 people.

Canada 34.7.

There  are roughly 638,000 machine guns, fully automatic weapons, owned by civilians in the United States, a number that includes the Browning .50 caliber heavy machine gun, the M249 machine gun, the M240 medium machine gun, military assault rifles like the M-16 and the M4 and more novel products, like the Uzi submachine gun.

The term “modern sporting rifles,” which is used by the NRA and the gun industry,  refers to semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 and the AK-47, which the general public commonly identify as “assault rifles.”

There are a lot of reasons people love their AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, and it doesn’t much matter to them what the haters say.

For some, the gun is a tool, a finely tuned machine that can cut down an animal or intruder, or pierce a distant target, with a single precise shot.

For others, it is a toy, a sleek beast of black plastic and metal that delivers a gratifying blast of adrenaline.

And for many, it is a symbol, the embodiment of core American values — freedom, might, self-reliance.

“There are very few things that serve such a great form and function, and look cool,” said Daniel Chandler, 26, an AR-15 owner in suburban Maryland.

When he takes his AR out of its case at a shooting range, he smiles like he just unwrapped a gift.

“There are few things you’ll find that are wonderfully appealing to look at, wonderful exercises in mechanical engineering, and that could save your life.”

Today, 1 out of every 5 firearms purchased in America is an AR-15-style rifle.

20 million assault rifles, 18 million AR-15’s,  are owned by civilians in America.

There are more assault rifles in the hands of private citizens than in the hands of the United States military.

Americans have purchased almost as many assault rifles as they have Nintendo video game consoles, or copies of the book How To Win Friends And Influence People.


The United States has had far more mass shootings than any other country.

One definition is an act of public firearm violence in which a shooter kills at least four victims.

Using this definition, one study found that more than 50% of the world’s public mass shootings between 1966 and 2019 (163 of 311 incidents) occurred in the United States.

Gun Violence Archive, frequently cited by the press, defines a mass shooting as firearm violence resulting in at least four people being shot at roughly the same time and location, excluding the perpetrator.

Using this definition, there have been 2,128 mass shootings since 2013, roughly one per day.


The United States has the highest percentage of obese people in the OECD (38 developed countries).

The CDC defines an adult with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater as obese and an adult with a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 as overweight.

Adults with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 have class 1 obesity; adults with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 have class 2 obesity; adults with a BMI of 40 or greater have class 3 obesity, which is also known as extreme or severe obesity

More than one-third of adults in the United States are obese.

36.6% of American adults are obese, 29% in Canada, 20% in Sweden, 6.2% in China and 4.3% in Japan.

Another 32.5%  of American adults are in the category of being overweight.

In all, almost 70% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

Projections say that by 2030, over 75% of American adults will be considered obese or overweight, virtually half of the US population (48.9%) will be considered obese and nearly 1 in 4 (24.2%) will be considered severely obese.

Children (persons aged 2 to 19 years) with a BMI at or above the 95th percentile of children of the same age and sex are defined as obese, and children with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile but less than the 95th percentile are defined as overweight

Obesity affects 1 in 6 children in the United States –  17% of American children ages 2 to 19 are obese.

That’s more than 12.7 million American children.

One in 8 preschoolers is obese.



The United States has the highest divorce rate among the G-7 countries.

In the United States, about 52.9% of married couples divorce, the sixth-highest divorce rate in the world.

Subsequent marriages have an even higher divorce rate.

60% of second marriages end in divorce.

73% of all third marriages end in divorce.

Canada is not much better, at 40%.

The average age for people going through a divorce for the first time is 30 years old.

60%, of divorces involve spouses who are between the ages of 25 and 39.

However, while 30 is the average age, the divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled since 1990.

Experiencing a “grey divorce,” or divorce after age 50, can take a toll on your mental health and finances.

One study reports that those who experience a “grey divorce” had worse depression than those whose partners died.

Divorced women over 50 experienced a 45% drop in their standard of living, compared to a 21% drop for men over 50.

Divorced or widowed men are more likely to remarry than divorced or widowed women.


The United States leads the world for the most hours of television watched per person each week.

According to a Nielsen report, United States adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day on average, 35.5 h/week, slightly more than 77 days per year.

Older people watch more, almost  50 h/week, younger people less (more than 20 h/week), both with a seasonal pattern that peaks in the winter months.

23% of US adults (61 million) stream Netflix on a daily basis.

Binge-watching can be defined as: “the experience of watching multiple episodes of a program in a single sitting.”

Binge-watching is a relatively new behaviour pattern whose popularity has been increasing since 2013, ultimately to become one of the most popular ways of spending free time, especially among young people.

People can binge-watch at any place, for example as they commute to work, using diverse electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, or tablets.

Binge-watching has initiated the notion that by using this style of consumption, viewers have a greater understanding and knowledge of the show and character development, versus viewers who don’t binge-watch.

This overall greater understanding of the viewer has caused program executives to create a deeper understanding of gratification to continue to motivate consumers to use this style of viewing.

Television consumption is associated with an overweight, inactive lifestyle among high school student across the United States.

From a sample of over 15,000 high school students, 43% of those students exceeded 2 hours a day of television viewing on a regular school day.

Overall, 41% of the sample did not participate in daily physical activity and watching television for 2 hours a day was correlated to being overweight.


The USA is the most expensive place in the world to have a baby – and it may factor into thousands of bankruptcies each year.

In the U.S., having a baby is going to cost you, big-time, before you even get that bundle of joy home.

It’s nearly impossible to put a price tag on giving birth in America, since costs vary dramatically by state and hospital.

But one 2013 study by the the advocacy group Childbirth Connection found that, on average, hospitals charged $32,093 for an uncomplicated vaginal birth and newborn care, and $51,125 for a standard Caesarean section and newborn care.

Insurance typically covers a large chunk of those costs, but many families are still often on the hook for thousands of dollars.

No other first-world country on earth expects new parents to shell out that kind of money just for the privilege of procreating.

The amount insurers pay for births in America is lower than the amount billed by hospitals because insurers negotiate lower prices.

Even the luxurious accommodations provided to the Duchess of Cambridge for the birth of the royal family’s daughter Princess Charlotte – believed to have cost up to $18,000 – were cheaper than most births in America.

Do American mothers get some kind of unusual care for all that dough?


They receive the same services moms receive in other first-world countries;  they just pay for them individually and at higher rates.

Despite these high costs, the US consistently ranks poorly in health outcomes for mothers and infants.

The US rate of infant mortality is 6.1 for every 1,000 live births, higher than Slovakia and Hungary, and nearly three times the rate of Japan and Finland.

The US also has the worst rate of maternal mortality in the developed world.

That means America is simultaneously the most expensive and one of the riskiest industrialized nations in which to have children.

60,000 families each year go bankrupt from adding a new family member in America, something unheard of in the rest of the developed world.


An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given yea

The USA leads the world in prevalence of anxiety disorders.

Americans are freaking out.

During the Pandemic, anti-anxiety prescriptions rose by 34.1%, antidepressant prescriptions jumped by 18.6% and anti-insomnia prescription drugs 14.8%.

1 in 6, 16.7% of 280 million U.S. adults reported filling one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs.

13.2% of US adults said they took antidepressants; 8.3% took anxiety drugs, sedatives or sleeping pills and 1.6% took antipsychotic medication.

Researchers have looked at the prevalence of various types of mental illness around the globe and found that the U.S. is the world champion in anxiety.

Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder, are the most prevalent mental disorders and are associated with immense health care costs and a high burden of disease.

According to large population-based surveys,  33.7% of the population in the US are affected by an anxiety disorder sometime during their lifetime.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 19.1% of the population every year.

Anxiety disorders, which include several varieties such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, take a tremendous toll on the population.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. adult population.

Panic Disorder (PD) affects 6 million adults, or 2.7% of the U.S. population.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects 7.7 million adults, or 3.5% of the U.S. population.

Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia) each year.

Major Depressive Disorder, the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3, affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.


The US has the highest rate of poverty among all the rich Western developed countries.

Poverty being measured by the percentage of people earning less than half the national median income, the US leads with 17.8%, while Canada has 11.6%, Sweden 8.9% and Switzerland 8.6%.

Children remain the poorest age group in America.

Nearly 1 in 6 lived in poverty in 2018—nearly 11.9 million children.

Children are considered poor if they live in a family with an annual income below the Federal Poverty Line of $25,701 for a family of four, which amounts to less than $2,142 a month, $494 a week or $70 a day.

Other studies place the number at about 20%, but both numbers are much higher than in other advanced countries.

For black and Hispanic American children, the poverty rate is even higher, at 36% and 31%.


Compared to other OECD countries, U.S. healthcare costs are one-third or more higher relative to the size of the economy (GDP).

Americans spend 18% of GDP on health care, with a yearly per capita cost of over $13,722 in 2018.

Canada spends 10.7% of GDP and $6,450, New Zealand 9.3% and $5,100.

The US is the only advanced economy in the world not to have full health coverage of its population.

But while Americans spend enormously, they remain in relatively poor health.

The US has fewer physicians, hospital beds, and psychiatric care beds than most other economically advanced countries, ranking towards the bottom in each of these parameters.

Hospital beds per 1,000 people: US 2.9, France 6.2, Germany 8.2,  Japan 13.2.

Life expectancy at birth (2014): US 78.8, Sweden 82.3, Italy 83.2 and Japan 84.2 (87.3 for Japanese women).

How does the wealthiest nation rank first in medical spending but 49th in life expectancy and place a staggering 178th in infant mortality?


Angels don’t just sing at Christmas time.

For most Americans, they’re a year-round presence.

An Associated Press poll shows that 77% of adults believe these ethereal beings are real.

Belief is primarily tied to religion, with 88% of Christians, 95% of evangelical Christians and 94% of those who attend weekly religious services of any sort saying they believe in angels.

But belief in angels is fairly widespread even among the less religious.

A majority of non-Christian Americans think angels exist, as do more than 4 in 10 of those who never attend religious services.

Beyond the religious gap, women are more likely than men to believe angels are real, and those over 30 are more apt than younger adults to think they exist.

The finding mirrors a 2006  poll, which found 81% believed in angels.

74% — believe in God, down from 82% in 2005.

42% of Americans believe in ghosts, 41% in UFOs, 26% in witches and 24% in reincarnation.

34% of Americans reject evolution entirely and believe humans and dinosaurs were roaming the Earth at the same time, as in  “Jurassic Park.”

25% of Americans think  the sun orbits the Earth.

4%  believe that “shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining power.”

Only 60% of Americans believe in evolution.

33% of Americans believe that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”

Among those who believe in evolution, 32% believe that modern organisms evolved through natural selection, while 24%believe that evolution occurred through the direct intervention of God.

Only 44% of Americans are confident that vaccines don’t cause autism.

Only 27% believe the Earth to be 4.5 billion years old, which is the consensus figure among scientists.

65% of Americans believe that the Founding Fathers established the USA as a Christian nation in the Constitution.

48% of Americans think the Civil War was about states’ rights, while only 38% of Americans believe it was over slavery.

1 in 10 Americans don’t believe the moon landing really happened.

The younger the person polled, the more likely they were to think the moon landing took place on a Hollywood sound stage  –  18% OF Americans age 18-34.

Older Americans, those more likely to have seen the moon landing happen live or at least to have parents who did, were more likely to believe.

And guess what?

Many younger respondents were also more likely to say they believed the earth was flat, as well.

No lie.

Why do deniers think the moon landing is a conspiracy between the government and NASA?

Well, 41% say the flag waving in the moon-landing footage is a dead giveaway.

14% said you can’t leave a footprint in moon dust.

51% also think the Mars Rover is faked.

For whatever reason, the skeptics about America’s ability to put people on the moon are far more likely to believe in space aliens having already arrived on Earth.


The United States spends more on national defence than China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil – combined.

The Pentagon’s budget is $778 billion, those other 10 countries combined, $726 billion.

In 2019, the Pentagon’s budget was nearly 3 times bigger than China’s defence spending and more than 10 times larger than Russia’s.

The total global military expenditure is $1.8 trillion for 2012, with the U.S. taking up an astounding 41% of the world total.

America is followed by China at 8.2% of world share, Russia at 4.1%, UK and France, both at 3.6%.

Even more amazing: Military spending did not decrease during the recent Pandemic and economic crisis.

In fact, it increased.

But total US military spending is more than the $732 billion outlined by the Department of Defence alone.

The United States has many departments that support its defence, such as the intelligence community.

All these departments must be included to get an accurate picture of how much America spends on its military operations.

Estimated total U.S. military spending covering the period October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021 will total $934 billion, almost $1 trillion.

Military spending is the second-largest item in the federal budget after Social Security.

The Air Force will spend $11 billion for 79 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and $739 million for five presidential helicopters.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program (which Canada has signed onto) is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over its lifespan.

It has the dubious distinction of being the Department of Defence’s most expensive weapons program of all time.

The 490 F-35s built since the first prototype flew 20 years ago continue to be plagued by a dozen serious flaws and nearly 900 software defects, and roughly half of the fleet in 2017 and 2018 was grounded for maintenance.

Regardless, the Pentagon still plans to buy 2,400 more F-35s over the next 25 years.

The Pentagon has wasted more than $67 billion since the late 1980s on a ballistic missile defence system that has never been demonstrated to work in a real-world situation.

A spawn of Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars fantasy, the system—based in Alaska and California—will never be able to defend the continental United States from even a limited nuclear attack.

Any country capable of launching a ballistic missile could easily beat the system with decoys and other countermeasures.

The Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers are being built to eventually replace the United States Navy’s existing Nimitz-class carriers.

Each carrier (there will be 11)  will cost US taxpayers $12.8 billion in construction. This doesn’t take into account the $4.7 billion spent in research and development of the new carrier class.

China’s df-21d ballistic missile is a weapon that the Pentagon says is specifically designed to kill aircraft carriers.

The df-21d is pretty sophisticated and pricey, but China could build over 1,200 df-21ds for the cost of just one American carrier.


When it comes to education, US schools are distinguished by their high cost.

The US is among the five countries spending the most on education between pre-primary and secondary school.

Afterwards, Americans spend far more on higher education: The cost of a post-secondary degree in the US is around $110,000, against an OECD average of $45,000.

In the US, early childhood education is attended by fewer children (55% versus an OECD average of 84% attendance), at an older age (four years old, versus three years old), and can be administered by untrained professionals.

Most other high-income OECD countries have specific educator certification requirements.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US fares below average among OECD countries when it comes to basic literacy and problem solving skills.

Advanced literacy in the US is below the OECD average.

Basic numeracy in the US is lower than in most other wealthy OECD nations.

In literacy skill, the US ranks 25th among developed countries, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and Finland being the top 4.

In math skill, the US ranks 39th, with Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan leading.  Canada ranks 9th.

In science knowledge, the US ranks 25th, with Singapore, Hong Kong, Estonia and Taiwan leading.  Canada ranks 7th.


The undisputed King of the Fast Food Industry is the United States.

With the introduction of the automobile in the early 1900s, there was ever greater access to fast-cook restaurant fare. America fell in love with “White Castle” hamburgers; the rest is history.

America has the largest fast food industry, and, has peppered the world’s landscape with Subway, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s among others, whose outlets can be found in over 100 countries.

Americans eat a staggering amount of “Fast Food’,” spending $300 billion a year on these meals.

36.6% of Americans, more than 1 in 3 children, ate fast food in the past 24 hours.

People from ages 20 to 39 were the most likely to say they ate fast food during the past day, at nearly 45%, followed by people ages 40 to 59 (almost 38%) and people older than 60 (around 24%).

Surprisingly, despite fast food’s generally low price, consumption actually went up with family income.

42% of higher-income adults (those with household incomes above 350% of the federal poverty level) ate fast food on a given day, compared to nearly 32% of those whose families earned 130% of the federal poverty level or less.

The new numbers point to a contradiction in America’s dietary habits.

On one hand, the wellness industry is exploding in popularity, and large numbers of Americans say they avoid eating things like excess sugar, salt and fat, and seek out plants and whole foods.

But at the same time, recent federal data found that 90% of adults don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, and obesity rates continue to tick upward.

Fast Food’s huge appeal is its particular taste, convenience and availability, and low cost.

It’s cheap because the major commodities used to produce it: corn, soy, and beef are heavily subsidized by the U.S. government.

Chains have insured availability by operating 250,000 fast food restaurants, in the U.S. alone.

These food outlets are strategically, and densely located, most conspicuously along the vast corridors of our nation’s highways.

There are very few places in the U.S. that don’t have either fast food outlets.

The big problem is that Fast Food is killing people  with a lethal dose of super-sized portions of unhealthy, non-nutritious food.

Fast food really isn’t cheap when we consider overall personal expenditures.

Once we factor in the healthcare expenses needed to treat the chronic diseases we suffer due to diet, eating fast food, or even a standard American diet costs the country a lot of money.

The total cost of healthcare in the U.S. for 2019 was $4.5 trillion  or, $13,722 per person; the highest in the world.

That money is, in large part, spent on healthcare required to treat the epidemic of diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, all related to diet and lifestyle.


Every year 530,000 American families file for bankruptcy due to medical bills.

Financial toxicity and bankruptcy are the biggest side-effects of a cancer diagnosis.

US medical bills and indebtedness are responsible for 66.5% of all American personal insolvencies.

On average, Americans spend about $14,000 a year on healthcare costs.

Most US citizens with medical debt owe between $2,500 and $5,000.

The total medical debt in the US was $45 billion.

26% of Americans aged 18-64 struggle with paying their medical bills.

More than half of all Americans, 51%, think medical treatments aren’t worth the cost.

45% of US citizens think they would go bankrupt if faced with a significant health issue.

Still, 48% believe that the USA has the best healthcare in the world.

Medical bankruptcy is almost unheard of outside of the United States.

Other developed economies have single-payer health care systems where medical costs are financed by taxes, not by premium-financed insurance.

In these countries, there are no out-of-pocket costs for medical care and thus no bankruptcy caused by medical debts.



  1. Stats, stats and more stats.

    When it comes to fast food, that stuff is poison and is killing people. It’s easy to see. Sugary foods and all processed foods and whatever the hell is added to them and dairy too. That has a big impact on the health care system and costs associated with that.

    Government — “Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice.”

    Poverty — I see the “privileged” causing more destruction. They’re the ones who seem to have control, the ones making decisions on how to run society. Just look at our city as a small example.

    Guns, I do see some as works of art…the wood, the workmanship, intricate details, especially the older rifles, shotguns, pistols.

Comments are closed.