Infographic: Every Country’s #1 at Something

A stunning look at the inner workings of every region in the world.

Country's number one rankings infographic

David McCandless‘s new infographic is a masterpiece that lays out each country’s individual claim to a #1 rank.


These range from commodities to demographics to ecology to crime–and obviously, most of these things you’d never want to be known for being the “best” in:

World number one infographic

But collectively, it gives you a pretty phenomenal snapshot of the workings in myriad economies, countries, continents, and regions. For example, Africa in particular looks like a slapdash collection of countries with niche resource exports and barely functioning economies rife with problems such as overpopulation and disease.

Further North, in Northern Europe, there are all kinds of fascinating factoids. Sweden, for example, is a powerhouse in nuclear energy; Finland, apparently, has great gender equality if the prevalence of female doctors is any indication. And their neighbors that were behind the Iron Curtain are riddled with problems such as obesity and unemployment.

This is basically like looking into the workings of some super brain, cross-bred from Ken Jennings‘ mental junk drawers and The World Bank’s databases.

About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.