Iraq: not as bad as Yemen

By Razib Khan | January 2, 2012 9:29 pm

You probably know that the USA has officially withdrawn from Iraq. And you probably also know that in many ways Iraq became the de facto 51st American state for nearly a decade (I remember that my phone’s news app had an “Iraq” section back in 2007). Looking back 10 years ago I recall my attitude being “how bad could we mess this up?” I had expected a “Mouse that Roared” scenario, American investments would leave Iraq in a better position. In a general impressionistic sense I got the sense that I was drastically wrong, but over the past few years poking around Google Data Explorer it’s clear that you can make this case quantitatively too. Iraq just jumps out as a shockingly messed up country (the World Values Survey will also confirm that Iran is a much more enlightened country when measured by the yardstick of post-materialist values!).

Below is a taste of what I often see (I’ll keep life expectancy on the x-axis):

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Data Analysis
  • Peter

    Djibouti is the real standout on all the graphs (and not in a good way), though calling it a Middle Eastern/North African country is sort of stretching definitions.

  • Frances Morgan Watson

    When some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she wishes to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.


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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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