The countries with the highest literacy rate, defined as the ability to read and write by age 15. The figures given are from the latest figures available, from 2021-2023.[1] Rank Country Literacy Rate 1. Andorra 100% 2. Finland 100% 3. Liechtenstein 100% 4. Luxembourg 100% 5. North Korea 100% 6… Read more
The criteria that define a country, an independent State, and a nation Related Links Countries of the World How Many Countries Country Territories Nation Country     There is a difference between the terms nation, state, and country, even though the words are often used interchangeably. Country and State… Read more
Where people trust their governments the least According to the annual survey by the Berlin-based organization Transparency International, Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan are perceived to be the most corrupt, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are perceived to be the world's least corrupt countries. For a list of the least corrupt nations, see… Read more
The Places Where People Live the Longest If you look at the rankings, the average life expectancy by country can vary greatly. Why is that? Some factors, like access to health care, are obvious. Other factors, however, may be less clear. What do the countries with the highest life expectancies have in common? How are the countries with the… Read more
Learn how a new pope is selected upon the death or retirement of a sitting pontiff Benedict XVI Related Links Biography of Benedict XVI Major Religions of the World Worldwide Religious Sites It is a system that has been in place for centuries. When a pope dies, the camerlengo, or chamberlain, who is the cardinal… Read more
The world's most popular religions 83% of the world's population is religious, give or take a few points. But, the numbers of those religious people varies wildly across different religions. The table below lists the largest religious groups by percentage of global population as of 2010, the last year for which we have a thorough international… Read more
The table below lists the ascending median age of the world's top eight religious groups. The figures are from 2012, the last year from which we have a thorough global survey.  Religion Median age Muslims 23 Hindus 26 Christians 30 Other Religions 32 Folk Religionists 33 Religiously unaffiliated 34 Buddhists… Read more
Religiously unaffiliated rank third among religious adherents worldwide Related Links Top Eight World Religions Countries with Largest Unaffiliated Populations Median Age of Religious Adherents Major Religions of the World The Religiously Unaffiliated now rank as the world's third largest religious group, after… Read more
From Australia to South Korea Related Links Back to School Center World Atlas Education Somewhere in the world, right now, students are hard at work in school. With over 190 nations spanning the globe's 24 time zones, students and their academic years come in a variety of forms. Here's a sampling of the typical school year in 13 nations… Read more
Countries with the most anti-LGBT populations Here's a list of the top ten least gay-friendly countries according to a report from Pew Research Center. The study asked people in 34 countries the question, "Should society accept homosexuality?" The highest ranked countries had the highest numbers of people who responded with "No." The percentages… Read more
Norway tops the list of best countries for moms The following table lists the top ten countries of the world according to the most recent report from Save the Children. The Mother's Index ranks the health, educational, and economic conditions for mothers in 179 countries. Industrialized and European countries are consistently among the highest… Read more
Related Links Volcanoes of the World Recent Volcanic Activity Volcanic Eruptions Volcano Year Deaths Major cause of deaths Tambora, Indonesia 1815 92,000 Starvation Krakatau, Indonesia 1883 36,417 Tsunami Mount Pelee, Martinique 1902 29,025 Ash flows Ruiz, Colombia 1985 25,000 Mudflows Unzen, Japan 1792 14,300 Volcano collapse, tsunami Laki,… Read more
Tension in the Caribbean With only 90 miles separating them, Cuba and the United States have shared, at worst, a tumultuous history and, at best, an uneasy relationship. All the way back to the days when Cuba was a Spanish colony, it has been a subject of American fascination. Southern slave owners wanted to take over the island as a… Read more
What is a continent? A continent is defined as a large unbroken landmass completely surrounded by water, although in some cases continents are (or were in part) connected by land bridges. The seven continents of the world, as commonly cited in the United States and other English-speaking countries, are: North America, South America, Europe, … Read more
Obesity rates around the world There are several hundred million obese people in the world. This is generally considered a public health issue of great importance, as people who are obese tend to incur much more in medical costs over their lifetime.  The weight isn't evenly spread between countries. In the fattest countries, rampant weight gain… Read more
Somalia is the country with the hardest conditions for mothers The following table lists the ten worst countries of the world to be a mother according to the most recent report from Save the Children. The Mother's Index ranks the health, educational, and economic conditions of 179 countries. Industrialized and especially European countries are… Read more
Acute radiation syndrome, reactor meltdown, and nuclear disaster are all scary terms. Learn about what the terms mean in relation to Japan's 2011 crisis.   Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Location of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Photo credit: Saneef Ansari, National Institute of Design Bangalore Related Links… Read more
The table below lists the top ten countries with the greatest number of people who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated. The countries with the highest unaffiliated percentages tend to be communist or formerly communist countries, which usually oppose or restrict religion.  Country 2010 unaffiliated population Percentage of… Read more
The Poorest Countries Pound for Pound Generally speaking, larger countries make more money that smaller countries just because they have more workers. Some of the countries with low GDPs might actually have a pretty high standard of living, since each citizen makes more—Monaco, a modern city-state, is one of the most luxurious places on Earth.… Read more
The Richest Countries Pound for Pound It pretty naturally follows that larger countries should make more money than smaller ones, just by virtue of being bigger. Certainly the world's three largest economies are the three largest countries by population (China, the United States, and India). That's why, to determine just how wealthy a country is… Read more