What’s your country best at?

There’s an interesting infographic on the Information is Beautiful site at the moment, focusing on what every country is best at.  There are some who’ll be pleased at what they find, others less so, particularly when you compare the updated version to the original created six years ago.

The current map:



The original map:

As you can see, the UK has “progressed” from being best at CCTV to being best at billionaires.  There’s hope for us yet.  Peru will be less pleased at moving from being best at butterflies to being best at cocaine.  It seems the well-worn South American cliché is hard to shift, though in four trips to Peru I don’t recall seeing a single butterfly which seems odd if it’s a top destination for lepidopterists.

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Llama at Kuelap – but no butterflies

Some will have you nodding: Russia’s dashcams are becoming legendary and Sweden’s pop music has been so for decades.  There are surprises too: Pakistan is world-class for gay porn, having previously been singled out for footballs.  Neither would spring to mind if I was asked to guess what they might be best at.  Togo’s gone from being best at safes to being best at unhappiness, proof that material possessions don’t lead to happiness.  If you’re searching for happiness, don’t head to Bhutan, as you might expect given they famously measure Gross National Happiness instead of GNP, but to Latin America: Costa Rica picked up the accolade in 2010 and this year Colombia picks up that baton.  Some are consistent: Chile retains its copper crown, as does Argentina but for horse meat.


Chuquicamata, Chile

And don’t be put off if your next holiday destination doesn’t seem to fare so well.  Honduras wasn’t on the original graphic but now wins the award for best for murder.  San Pedro Sula is statistically the murder capital of the world and when I overnighted there I did so in a guesthouse that had iron grilles over its windows and a blockade at the end of the street.  But for the majority of my stay, in sleepy Copan Ruinas and laid back Roatan, nothing could have been further from my mind.


Roatan’s a far cry from some of Honduras’ mainland city problems

So why not have a look at these maps for yourself and see how their “bests” fit with your experience of the place.  I’d love to hear what you think.

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