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OECD study: US ‘high on prisons, low on pensions’

By David Ferguson
Sunday, April 17, 2011 13:12 EDT
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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a report stating that the United States has the highest percentage of incarcerated citizens in the developed world and ranks ninth from the bottom in social spending. The report was included in what Business Insider calls a “massive pack of data” from the OECD discussing current social and economic conditions among the world’s developed nations.

The United States imprisons 760 of every 100,000 citizens, according to the study.  The only nation that comes anywhere close is South Africa, with a prison population of 329 prisoners per 100,000.  The OECD average is 140.

Of the 34 nations included in the survey, the US ranks ninth from the lowest on social spending, above Australia, but below Ireland.  France comes in at the top, followed by Sweden and Austria.

According to Business Insider, “Social spending is low on pensions, but high on prisons. Health spending is off the charts, but obesity and life expectancy are worse than average.”

In spite of the fact that the US ranks low in terms of health care accessibility, Americans spend more on health care than any other nation in the world. It makes up 16% of the US GDP.  The second highest is France, at 11.2%.

The OECD is a group of 34 countries founded in 1961 to “promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world”.

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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