Green Wiki

"Sustainability" balances achievement of environmental, economic, and social equity goals-- the three E's.

To advocate for sustainability, it is helpful, particularly for Americans, to know what can be achieved by looking at other high income countries. Unfortunately, searches on Google and Wikipedia show no useful information on this subject. Furthermore, some particularly rich sources, like the UN Development Programme, Human Development Report 2007/2008 at, still do not cover a large number of important issues. One way to see the big picture is to spend many hours tracking down specialized data bases comparing performance among nations. Another -- much easier -- way is to use this article as a portal to the wide world of national comparisons of performance on sustainability issues. (This article is based on many hours, etc.)

This article uses a variety of internationally recognized databases and organizations that compile statistical information on sustainability, including the economic and equity aspects. The data support the hypothesis that the U.S. ranks far behind other developed nations on almost all green indicators.

This article links to a website where all of the compiled statistical data can be found:

Purpose 1: To provide an introduction to the major data bases and selected content in a wide range of policy areas for the casual user and the media.
Purpose 2: To provide a fairly objective statistical comparison of the performance concerning sustainability of the US with other selected developed countries.
Purpose 3: To provide statistical information as objective as possible to test the hypothesis that:


The US has high personal income, high productivity, large houses, and ample higher education. However, in most other ways that count, the US is the least developed of the developed countries. It is the most militarized. It has the highest population growth, the most uneven distribution of income, mediocre basic education, the lowest health status, the highest health costs, much higher crime, less leisure, more abortion and teen pregnancy, and a lower status for women. The US is the least environmentally sustainable, the most polluting, and the most dependent on fossil fuel.

In addition to providing access to databases on the subject, this article also looks at how the US compares to ten top leading advanced countries using the same format for all the comparisons. The article also has, below the tables an sources, notes about the topic and indicators needing further research. If you have data to add, send it to the Wikia Community Team. The ten countries were:

Australia France Italy Netherlands Sweden
Canada Germany Japan Norway United Kingdom

The selected categories cover major topics of international relations, military security, social issues,
the environment and the economy. The categories used for comparisons are listed below:

Aid Environment Income Distribution
Basic Education Gender Equality Military
Cars Greehouse Gases Population
Child Welfare Health Care Sexual Health
Competitivness Health Status Technology
Crime Higher Education Teen Pregnancy
Economy Housing Voting
Energy Human Development Index Work and Leisure

International Comparisons -

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