Borders we forget: Saudi Arabia & Yemen

By Razib Khan | October 21, 2010 1:36 pm

There’s a lot of stuff you stumble upon via Google Public Data Explorer which you kind of knew, but is made all the more stark through quantitative display. For example, consider Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In gross national income per capita the difference between these two nations is one order of magnitude (PPP and nominal). Depending on the measure you use (PPP or nominal) the difference between the USA and Mexico is in the range of a factor of 3.5 to 5. Until recently most Americans did not know much about Yemen. It was famous for being the homeland of Osama bin Laden’s father and the Queen of Sheba.

Let’s do some comparisons.

Good luck Saudi Arabia! 🙂 Couldn’t happen to a nicer nation.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Geography

Comments (9)

  1. Ezequiel

    Another very interesting land border (historically, politically, genetically) with a large GDP per capita difference is Spain/Morocco:
    6 United States 45,934
    26 Spain 29,625
    39 Saudi Arabia 23,272
    59 Mexico 13,609
    116 Morocco 4,587
    136 Yemen 2,454
    8 United States 45,934
    23 Spain 32,030
    42 Saudi Arabia 14,745
    61 Mexico 8,134
    108 Morocco 2,882
    140 Yemen 1,061

    USA/Mexico (PPP, nominal)
    45934/13609 = 3.37
    45934/8134 = 5.64

    Spain/Morocco (PPP, nominal)
    29625/4587 = 6.45
    32030/2882 = 11.11

    Saudi/Yemen (PPP, nominal)
    23272/2454 = 9.48
    14745/1061 = 13.89

  2. hm. but their land border is just a technicality with ceuta. right? but i guess the straits are so narrow that that’s a valid point.

  3. Last month at Demography Matters I linked to an essay

    comparing the Mexico-US and Morocco-Europe experiences regarding migration.

  4. Is there any easy way to modify those graphs so that each graph has the same colors for each country rather than different colors in each graph? The current form is much more confusing to read than it would probably be if the colors were consistent.

  5. Katharine

    Ceuta and Melilla are both under question, I think. Crazy Spaniards trying to bring another continent into the EU.

    Speaking of Saudi Arabia (brilliant underhanded insult there), one of the Saudi Royal Family got a life sentence in Britain for strangling a servant at a hotel to death. I am quite happy about the fact that they now realize they have to treat non-royals as people (as if they thought royals were somehow greater than ordinary people – they aren’t different at all from ordinary people!)

  6. It is worth pointing out that most of that border is nigh impenetrable dune fields that might as well be ocean. The countries don’t even have a formal demarcation for most of it.

    And Brunei / Indonesia is worse, as is Zimbabwe/ South Africa.

  7. frozin

    Both Saudi and Yemen depend on oil exports to drive their economies
    Saudi Arabia produces 12,000,000 br of oil per day
    Yemen produces 200,000 br per day


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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