Today’s theme at the Republican National Convention is “Making America First Again,” so we looked at some areas where the United States is leading the world in and where it lags behind.
The United States remains one of the world’s largest economies. Its total gross domestic product is the world’s highest by 70% over second-place China. When adjusted for population, though, the U.S. falls to seventh place — it pales in comparison to the GPD per capita of Luxembourg, the tiny banking powerhouse with a population about the size of Albuquerque’s.
When it comes to gross savings, however, nobody tops the United States’ $3.2 trillion, enough to buy a Tesla Model X for every person in California (but not enough to pay the sales tax).
The U.S. isn’t as strong when it comes to education. American 15-year-olds scored in the middle of the pack among the 64 countries included in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment, a survey sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The best scores (on a scale of zero to 1,000) were from Singapore, which earned a 573 in mathematics, and Hong Kong, which scored 555 in science. But at least the U.S. did better than Peru, which came in last in both categories.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has often brought up the United States’ trade deficit, especially when it comes to China and Mexico. And it is true that the U.S. imports more than it exports — more goods in terms of raw value than any other country. But what it really means for the United States to have a trade deficit with Mexico is up for debate.
In raw values, the U.S. also exports more goods than any other country except China. When services are included, though, the U.S. trade deficit puts us dead last in World Bank rankings for 2015.
One category where the United States does come in first — and probably not in a way Trump would want — is drug use. According to statistics from the United Nations, American adults are most likely to have used illicit drugs in the last year. The same holds true for prescription opioids.