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OC: 42
6 months ago

Share of households making ends meet with great difficulty [OC]

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7 points · 6 months ago

As a Norwegian i feel like this accurate. Things are pretty "easy" for most people here.
Then again, we only have a population of like 5 million people, so i guess it makes sense.

OC: 7
5 points · 6 months ago

Then again, we only have a population of like 5 million people, so i guess it makes sense.

How so? Why would it be easier to make ends meet in a small country?

2 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

It's easier to get social programs implemented in a smaller country because everyone views themselves as one "community".

It usually makes unemployment less of an issue to have fewer people. Individual manpower is less expendable. Thus higher and minimum wage.

OC: 7
3 points · 6 months ago

I don't follow. Why is individual manpower less expendable? In a smaller country there are fewer workers, but also less demand for work.

the scaling is a little bit off, it's not perfectly linear. There is a certain minimum of manpower you need to run a country and a certain threshold till which it is more efficient to use people over machines. The smaller a country is the more it profits from this.

Think of china. They have all the people, but at the same time that means they can also profit more from bigger factories and more automatisation and they can govern that many people with a way more efficient administration-to-population relationship.

Yeah, not so sure about the size link. I live in Ireland currently (pop: 4.5M), and it's close to the top of the list, with 12% of households in great economic difficulty (placing it right down with problematic economies like Portugal, Spain, Italy and even Eastern European countries like Hungary and Romania that have a massive net migration to the West). It's also one of the richest countries in Europe and the world per capita, so it's not from lack of resources. Ireland, furthermore, is very homogeneous and well-educated. It doesn't have oil like Norway, but neither does the other Nordic countries. Last year, it had the highest GDP growth rate in the world, but people outside of Dublin (and maybe Cork) have been largely left behind.

Well I don't mean to brag but we have a population of ~1 million and we still manage to be right up there at number 3.

OC: 42
Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

Share of households making ends meet with great difficulty [4591x3196]

source: Eurostat

more data:

tools used: Photoshop, OpenOffice Calc, MapChart

Comment deleted6 months ago(1 child)

It's similar in Poland, and as far as I know many Eastern European countries.

Interesting that some of the more expensive countries are lower on the list. I figured even countries like Switzerland must have manual laborers and uneducated people not earning a ton of money, and that combined with a high cost of living it'd be pretty tough to not earn a lot there.

In rich countries everyone gets paid more, even the people at the lowest end of the scale.

I work a minimum wage type of job, and in Sweden my base hourly pay is like 75% more than what it would be in the UK, plus tons of benefits like extra pay on evenings/weekends/nights that I wouldn't be getting in the UK. I have a family in the UK who work the exact same job as me and they live in terrible flats in tower blocks that reek of piss, and the highlights of their year are a long weekend in mallorca and the odd trip to London on a hen night. More or less. Whereas I live in a modern newly renovated flat in a nice area and I spend 5-6 weeks a year travelling abroad.

Quite a big difference and even then the UK is better than most of Europe.

The UK, US, and Ireland are all of the same bleak neoliberal sink-or-swim system. My wife comes from a "Rust Belt" town in Central Sweden, and her relatives and childhood friends live modestly, but decently. Compare their lives with their counterparts in Ireland or the US, and you see how differently Nordic societies think of their collective responsibilities to each other. That old British term "Commonwealth" comes to mind. I wish it would make a comeback in the Anglophone world.

Too bad there isn't equivalent data for other countries outside of Europe. Would be super interesting to see.

Great work, thanks!

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