Why are some countries very wealthy and others so poor? In this lesson you will learn about the factors that contribute to a nation's standard of living.
If You're So Smart...
The Rich Nations Mystery
Which "Wood" You Choose?
The Rich Nations Mystery
It has just been announced that in the interest of world harmony, all students are required to move to another country. You must now choose your new homeland. Try to select a country or region that you think has a high standard of living. Look over these selections and make your choice.
Country 1: Population: 50,447,719
Area: 603,700 sq km
Natural Resources: iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber.
Country 2: Population: 24,317,000
Area: 120,540 sq km
Natural Resources: coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower.
Country 3: Population: 1,221,591,778
Area: 9,326,410 sq km
Natural Resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest).
Country 4: Population: 6,547,189
Area: 1,092 sq km
Natural Resources: outstanding deepwater harbor, feldspar.
Country 5: Population: 7,240,463
Area: 41,290 sq km
Natural Resources: hydropower potential, timber, salt.
Country 6: Population: 45,948,811
Area: 98,480 sq km
Natural Resources: coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower.
Here is some more information about each country or region.
1: Ukraine: GDP $161 Billion
GDP per capita $3,170
2: North Korea: GDP $20.9 Billion
GDP per capita $900
3: China: GDP $3,390 Billion
GDP per capita $2,800
4: Hong Kong: GDP $163 Billion
GDP per captia $26,000
5: Switzerland: GDP $161 Billion
GDP per capita $22,600
6: South Korea: GDP $647 Billion
GDP per capita $14,200
Have students answer the following questions from parts 1 and 2 from the procedure.
-You had to make your choice without all of the information you needed. Now that you have more data, which single figure would you rely on to determine whether a country was rich or poor? Was it GDP (Gross Domestic Product)? GDP is the value of all the goods and services a country produces per year. Which of those above has the highest GDP?
-From this group, China has the highest GDP. Most people consider China to be relatively poor. Why?
The number of people sharing the income makes a difference.
Likewise, though GDP shows how much output a country produces, the population makes a difference. GDP per capita shows how much output is produced per member of the population. List the countries from the highest GDP per capita to the lowest. GDP per captia shows where people are likely to have the most goods and services per person, and therefore, the highest standard of living.
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