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Socialism Data

Week 12

Socialism Data

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Week 12

The first eleven units of our Socialism campaign cover theoretical and historical aspects of socialism and their implementations. This final unit provides recent data on countries that are currently socialistic.

Four countries proclaim themselves communist: China, Laos, Cuba, Vietnam. Eight more reference socialism in their constitutions: The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Republic of India, North Korea, Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Portuguese Republic, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and the United Republic of Tanzania. Several others have socialist parties with governing majorities: Angola, Bolivia, Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Greece, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

We analyzed and compared these 24 countries to each other and the rest of the world based on publicly-available indices and databases.

Economic Freedom

(Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom):

  • 20 of the socialist countries ranked 100th or lower, with the exceptions of Uruguay (47), where a fiscally conservative president assumed power, Portugal (56), Tanzania (89), and El Salvador (90)
  • All socialist countries scored low on economic freedoms related to the rule of law (property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity) except for China, Portugal, and Uruguay
  • All the countries scored 60 (out of 100) or below in the financial freedom category, which is an indicator of banking efficiency as well as a measure of independence from government control and interference in the financial sector

Human Freedom (CATO Institute’s 2019 Human Freedom Index):

  • 17 out of 22 socialist countries (Cuba and North Korea are not included in CATO’s index) scored lower on total human freedom than the average for their regions. The only countries that scored above the regional average were India, Tanzania, and Uruguay
  • 16 of these countries are in the bottom 50% of the world for personal freedom, and 17 are in the bottom 50% for economic freedom. Socialist countries got better results on the personal freedom scale than on economic freedom (13 vs. 9)
  • In general, these socialistic countries received their lowest results in Rule of Law; Association, Assembly, and Civil Society; and Legal System categories.

Corruption

(Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index):

  • All the socialist countries mentioned above scored below 50 in Transparency International’s Index, except for Portugal and Uruguay
  • About half (12 out of 25) have declined in the corruption perceptions index in comparison to 2017. Nine countries ranked the same two years in a row

GDP (World Bank):

  • Except China and India, all socialist countries have GDP valued below $260 Billion.
  • 19 out of 24 countries have positive GDP per capita annual growth, four of which have growth above 5.0% (no data is available for North Korea in this category)

China vs. Hong Kong (World Bank):

  • Life expectancy at birth: 76 vs. 85
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (modeled ILO estimate): 4.4 vs. 2.8
  • Population ages 65 and above, male (% of male population): 10.0% vs. 17.1%
  • Population ages 65 and above, female (% of female population): 11.9% vs. 16.7%
  • Mortality rate, female, adult (per 1,000 people): 61.1 vs. 33.6
  • Mortality rate, male, adult (per 1,000 people): 95.1 62.6
  • GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$): 7,752.6 vs. 38,781.8
  • Crude death rate (per 1,000 people): 7.1 vs. 6.3

North Korea vs. South Korea (World Bank):

  • Life expectancy at birth: 72 vs. 83
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (modeled ILO estimate): 3.3 vs. 3.8
  • Population ages 65 and above, male (% of male population): 6.7% vs. 12.3%
  • Population ages 65 and above, female (% of female population): 11.9% vs. 16.5%
  • Mortality rate, female, adult (per 1,000 people): 97.1 vs. 32.9
  • Mortality rate, male, adult (per 1,000 people): 164.1 vs. 80.5
  • GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$): — vs. 26,761.9
  • Crude death rate (per 1,000 people): 9.0 vs. 5.6
  • Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 people): 13.7 vs. 2.7

Chile vs. Venezuela (World Bank):

  • Life expectancy at birth: 79.9 vs. 72.2
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (modeled ILO estimate): 7.2 vs. 8.4
  • Population ages 65 and above, male (% of male population): 10.0% vs. 6.5%
  • Population ages 65 and above, female (% of female population): 13.0% vs. 8.0%
  • Mortality rate, female, adult (per 1,000 people): 65.4 vs. 88.1
  • Mortality rate, male, adult (per 1,000 people): 106.1 vs. 188.9
  • GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$): 14,170.9 vs. 9,013.4
  • Crude death rate (per 1,000 people): 5.8 vs. 6.2
  • Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 people): 6.7 vs. 16.8

Compiled by Andrei Volkov and Stephen Hicks, 2020.

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