The World Cup is in full swing (is already in progress), and millions of people around the world are watching their favorite teams compete (play against each other). Even here in the U.S., there are millions who watch soccer (or “football“). You can’t go to a bar here in Los Angeles – a city of immigrants, after all – without seeing a group of people gathered around (next to) a large-screen TV watching a game (and yelling or screaming).
To win the World Cup, you need talent and probably a little luck. But what if the World Cup were not decided by two teams kicking a ball on a field, but rather some other measure or factor?
For example, if we took the 32 countries that are competing in this year’s World Cup and decided to give the victory to the country with the biggest population instead of the best team, the winner would be the United States (with 318.9 million people).
Here, then, are the “winners” of what we could call Alternative World Cups, according to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal:
- Highest population density (most number of people per square kilometer): Korea, at 468.8 people per square km.
- Lowest population density: Australia, with 2.9 people per square km.
- Fastest-growing population: Nigeria, with 2.8% yearly increase.
- Slowest-growing population: Italy, with -2% yearly change.
- Most traffic deaths: Iran, with 34.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Fewest traffic deaths: England, with 3.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Most murders: Honduras, with 90.4 murders per 100,000 people.
- Fewest murders: Japan, with 0.3 murders per 100,000 people.
- Longest life expectancy (how long you will probably live): Japan, at 84.5 years.
- Most unmarried women ages 45 to 49: Brazil, with 44.6%.
- Fewest unmarried women ages 45 to 49: Iran, with 12.6%.
- Most tourists per person: Croatia, with 2.45 visitors per person.
- Cellphones per capita (for each person): Russia, with 1.84 phones per person.
- Biggest smokers: Greece, with 2,795 cigarettes smoked per person per year (that’s 7.6 cigarettes per day).
- Biggest drinkers: Russia, with 15.1 liters per person per year.
- Biggest meat eaters: Argentina, with 570 calories per day of meat per person.
- Biggest vegetable eaters: Korea, with 179 calories per day per person.
- Biggest sugar eaters: United States, with 569 calories per person per day (as much as an Argentinian eats in meat!).
- Fattest: United States, with approximately 33% of the population classified as (considered) obese (seriously overweight).
What else could we use to determine the World Cup winner?