Measuring Globalization: The Days of our Lives

Levels of globalization vs. life expectancies at birth.


Some critics claim that globalization impoverishes governments, reduces social benefits, and deprives workers of the conditions required for healthy lives. Were that true, people in the world’s most global societies would likely lead lives that, as British philosopher Thomas Hobbes said, are “nasty, brutish, and short.” To test this hypothesis, we compared the rankings of this year’s Globalization Index with the latest U.N. data on each country’s life expectancy at birth. (We have given each of the 61 countries represented in this chart a “life expectancy ranking.”) As the chart below indicates, people in the more global countries tend to live the longest. The same holds true when only developing countries are examined.

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