Australia Compared with the US, UK, India and Canada for…

How safe is Australia? How reliable are the police here? What about the drinking water? And healthcare? Where is Australia on internet and communication technology? How does the labour market compare with other countries? Is Australia as expensive as I’m told it is?

What is Australia like for environmental sustainability?

Okay, there are a lot of questions here, how can I possibly answer them? Crikey, I’d need an army of analysts working for me full-time, gathering info, putting it all together, comparing it, checking it; it would be a nightmare.

Certainly too much work for Bobinoz. Luckily…

World Economic ForumYes, luckily an organisation with a very impressive name, the World Economic Forum, have done all the legwork for me. What they have actually done is create a report called the ‘Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 edition‘ and as you can see from the above image, Spain has been named as the tourist capital of the world.

Almost 70 million visitors in 2015.

For the record, Australia came seventh, attracting around 7.4 million tourists. But it’s not the number of visitors that gave Spain the top spot though, France in second had more at 84 million, it’s actually down to a select number of components that make Spain an attractive country to visit.

We are not interested in travel and tourism here though, it’s those components that we are going to look at today. So I’m going to ignore all the components that are directly related to tourism, like tourist service infrastructure and prioritisation of travel and tourism, and instead look at the components answering the questions I asked earlier.

136 countries were included in this report, I’m going to look at just five.

Top five countries compared

By that, I mean the top five countries that currently read my website. If I look at my stats for the last 12 months, my readership has come from (would you believe) 234 countries, but the top five countries account for 76% of my traffic. They are:

  • Australia
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • India
  • Canada

So let’s see how these five countries have performed in some key components I randomly selected, based on how important I think they might be to someone looking to move here permanently, rather than pop over for a holiday. The number shown to the right of each of these countries is their rank out of 136 for the component mentioned. We will start with safety.


gunReliability of police services

  • Australia – 11th
  • United States – 23rd
  • United Kingdom – 21st
  • India – 53rd
  • Canada -10th

Canada pinches that one just ahead of Australia, not much between the UK and the US and India a distance behind.

Homicide rate/100,000 pop

  • Australia – 29th
  • United States – 76th
  • United Kingdom – 23rd
  • India – 69th
  • Canada – 40th

It’s actually a slimmer margin of victory for the UK than it looks, they were joint 23rd with five other countries, so Australia were only one place behind them. The homicide, or as I would say, murder rates quoted here are per 100,000 of population and for the UK it was 0.9 and for Australia 1.0. For Canada it was 1.5, India 3.2 and the US 3.9.

Health and hygiene:

Access to improved drinking water

  • Australia – 1st
  • United States – 51st
  • United Kingdom – 1st
  • India – 80th
  • Canada – 38th

A massive 35 countries tied for first place, two of them were Australia and the UK. I’m very pleased about that, because when I moved here in 2007 Australia was in the midst of a shocking drought. The doomsayers were saying, yes you’ve guessed it, that Australia was doomed.

Pleased to say that hasn’t turned out to be the case.

Hospital beds/10,000 pop

  • Australia – 42nd
  • United States – 57th
  • United Kingdom – 57th
  • India – 116th
  • Canada – 61st

My word, Japan are streets ahead on this one, with a massive 137 beds per 10,000 of population. By the time you get down to Australia, who are the best of our bunch of five even though they’re only in 42nd position, it’s 37 beds per 10,000.

It’s 29 for the UK and the US and 27 for Canada.

Human resources and the labour market:

india-workerPay and productivity

  • Australia – 26th
  • United States – 8th
  • United Kingdom – 19th
  • India – 33rd
  • Canada – 13th

Specifically, this one is about ‘In your country, to what extent is pay related to employee productivity?‘ Of our group of five countries then, pay is related to productivity the most in the US and Canada and the least in India and Australia. The UK takes the middle ground.

Female participation in the labour force

  • Australia – 53rd
  • United States – 54th
  • United Kingdom – 47th
  • India – 128th
  • Canada – 24th

This one compares the ratio of women workers to men. Canada tops our bunch with 0.91 women working in the workforce to every one man. The UK is 0.87 and in both Australia and the US 0.86. So no real significant difference between these four countries, but in India there are just 0.35 women working per man.

Information and communication technology readiness:

Internet users

  • Australia – 22nd
  • United States – 36th
  • United Kingdom – 9th
  • India – 101st
  • Canada – 14th

Again, not a huge difference between four of the countries with 92% hooked up to the net in the UK reducing to 74.5% in the US. This figure falls down to 26% for India.

electricQuality of electricity supply

  • Australia – 22nd
  • United States – 17th
  • United Kingdom – 11th
  • India – 87th
  • Canada – 16th

Some of you may not aware, but there is a huge debate going on in Australia at the moment about our electricity supply needing a massive restructure. We had a power cut to an entire state not so long ago and in most states in Australia there is much political talk about how our electricity supply can be improved for the future.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that we had done reasonable well here, even though we did come forth. In terms of reliability, Australia scored 6.4 (with 7 = extremely reliable) here compared with the UK performing best of these five scoring 6.7.

Price competitiveness:

Purchasing power parity

  • Australia – 135th
  • United States – 127th
  • United Kingdom 130th
  • India – 1st
  • Canada – 124th

It may not surprise you to hear that in this particular component, is not good to come first. Sorry India. Australia has done well, it has the second best Purchasing Power Parity of all the 136 countries in this index. The UK, US and Canada have also performed very well.

Fuel price levels

  • Australia – 82nd
  • United States – 38th
  • United Kingdom – 133rd
  • India – 35th
  • Canada – 65th

This compares the price of diesel in US dollars in each country at current exchange rates.

It’s good to see India top the list for sure this time, although I’d like to wager that the people who live in India don’t actually feel that petrol is cheap, see Purchasing Power Parity above. I would say the US are the winners here for cheap petrol and the UK the biggest losers.

Environmental sustainability:

wombatThreatened species

  • Australia – 123rd
  • United States – 119th
  • United Kingdom – 39th
  • India – 126th
  • Canada – 36th

This is a bad one for Australia, a worrying 12.4% of our total species are under threat; of our list of five only India is worse at 13.5%. Canada wins this one with just 4.1% with the UK not far behind at 4.3%.

Sounds bad, I know, but this report is based on figures for 2016. As I looked at these stats, I was reminded of when I was in Tasmania a few years ago. I asked one of the locals “How come there are so many dead wombats by the side of the road?

Are you from the mainland?” he asked. When I confirmed that I was he said “Well, if you don’t have dead wombats by the side of the road where you live, it’s because you must have run them all over years ago.

Wastewater treatment

  • Australia – 7th
  • United States – 43rd
  • United Kingdom – 4th
  • India – 93rd
  • Canada – 29th

A win for the United Kingdom, Australia did well too and Canada not bad. The US could do better, and India has a way to go.


We have covered 12 components here, the UK were the clear winners on four those, and came equal top with Australia on a fifth. Canada came second winning three, Australia third winning two and being joint top on a third.

The US scored just the one win, same as India. Yes, I know, diesel probably ‘feels’ cheaper in the US, but under the system adopted by the World Economic Forum (who am I to argue?) India did come top on that one.

So well done the UK, and so soon after last week’s victory by London in the long-running battle on How Brisbane’s Winters Compare with London’s Summers.

No, I’m not going back to live in England, I’m staying put.

What can you do with all this information?

I have no idea, but if you want more, and there’s tons of it, visit the World Economic Forum to check out the full article.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Ozimandias October 8, 2017, 5:33 pm |

    Not many Americans or Canadians here, so it is anomalous that these are in the top five countries by visitor to this site. Is this an accurate reflection, or perhaps one of VPN?
    The others are not surprising. Australians may be looking to get another perspective. Kiwis are not on the top five, perhaps as they already know. Indians make up a major new group, for at least 10 years now. I found this group dominant in Melbourne in the taxi industry, though most were studying a Masters degree on the 457 skill list, or already had it.
    What is missing, per 2016 ABS census is the overtaking of the UK as staple migrant base. Sure, UK still is at the top, but if you add HKSAR to Mainland China, then maybe not. If you add other ethnically Chinese area in SE Asia, then definitely not. When migration is compared in terms of race and ethnicity, Asia is by far the major source of new migrants.

    • BobinOz October 9, 2017, 7:34 pm |

      Yes, this is true, we don’t really have very many Americans or Canadians here, but they are consistently in my top 10 visitors lists and the stats come from Google analytics. I’m not convinced it is a VPN thing.

      Maybe it’s just the numbers, with 350 million or so living in the US, and I think about 3 million or so in New Zealand, that might explain the visit count. Perhaps a lot of Americans and Canadians like windowshopping other countries now and then.

      As for China, they have already overtaken the UK, and India are top now, see…

  • Everlyne Rubia July 27, 2017, 8:55 pm |

    Hi Bob am very much interested in working and leaving in Australia though unskilled but working with Del Monte in Kenya .kindly advice me .

    • BobinOz July 28, 2017, 11:31 pm |

      Australia is a difficult country to move to, even more difficult if you do not have a recognised skill. If you want to take this further though, then my advice is see a MARA registered migration agent.

      To find out about those, see my page about Migration agents.

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