Top critical review
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sloppy and unprofessional
on 5 October 2013
I would have expected this edition to be an improvement on 2013 but was sadly mistaken. There is a catalogue of errors both of commission and omission, many repeating errors of previous years.
P.21 Single city importance- I give the books implied city population based on percentage of country's total population and actual size.
Khartoum,Sudan (81.5%) 27.3 million (5.2 million),Dakar,Senegal (56.7%) 7.2 million
(2.9 million), figures for Phnom Penh,Mogadishu. Conakry,Kigali,Ouagadougou,Abidjan.N'Djamena are similar in their inaccuracy-I invite other readers to compute the figures themselves.Freetown,Sierra Leone occurs in both 33rd and 36th position.
P.32 Biggest exporters-Hong Kong in 30th position 1.00% should be 11th with 2.60%.
Similarly p.33 Biggest traders of goods should be 13th with 2.3% of exports and 9th place with 2.8% of imports.
P.32 Least dependent on trade- I give the books figures, then my estimates as average imports/exports as % of GDP. Brazil 9.7 (12.5),United States 12.5 (16.0),
Greece 16.2(29.0),Colombia 16.4(19.0),Egypt 16.4(26.5),Argentina 17.3(21.0),European Union 18.8 (25.0).
P.38 Government spending and tax revenue. I have always thought the figures dubious in the past.This edition gives Norway's figures as 43.2% for each, but Norway usually runs a budget surplus of 20% of GDP, hence it's sovereign wealth fund of $716 billion on p.67.
P.42 Highest foreign debt footnote again states that developed countries have been excluded but includes South Korea,Taiwan,Hong Kong,Singapore,Qatar,UAE,Kuwait and Israel. At what point will these countries be "developed"?
P.45 Largest bilateral and multilateral donors omits Saudi Arabia which should be in 4th place with 0.9%.
P.46 Largest Industrial output omits Iran $180 billion (20th),Taiwan $145 billion (23rd),Nigeria $108 billion (30th), Qatar $96 billion(32nd),and Kuwait $88 billion (35th).
P.47 Largest manufacturing output omits Taiwan $120 billion(17th),Iran $51 billion (26th) and Israel $34 billion (37th).
P.47 Largest services output omits Taiwan $272 billion(21st)Iran $218 billion(25th),Israel $182 billion(28th),New Zealand $114 billion(40th)and Nigeria $61 billion(48th).
P.48 Largest agricultural output omits Nigeria $75 billion (6th largest)and Iran $43 billion (joint 9th)
P.53 continues the nonsense of combining United States/Canada output of Platinum and Palladium-separate figures have always been availalable on the excellent USGS site.For platinum Zimbabwe would be the world's third-largest producer.
P54. mysteriously does not rank world's chief wool consumers.
P56 omits Taiwan in rankings of Largest energy consumers at 140 million toe (17th).
P.57 again omits Taiwan 6000kg oil equivalent (16th)
Its country page on p.224 gives no energy details. They can be found online in a few minutes.
P.63 Patents omits Taiwan which usually has some 25,000 (7th)
P.73 Car production/sales vastly understates US/Canada due to their preference for pickup trucks are classed as commercial vehicles. Likewise it skews their vehicle per capita figures on p.72.
OICA website gives a far more realistic picture.
P.75 Longest railway networks continues the error(pointed out in a previous edition by my fellow reviewer D.Carter) of giving the U.K 34,100 km
whereas the true figure is 16,300.
I believe Australia has 38,400 km and not 8,600 as stated,China 98,000 and not 66,100.
P.234 has U.K GDP per head as $48,110 same and U.S and not $38,974
P.236 gives U.S population growth 2000-2010 as 0.85 % not the correct figure of 9.7%
P.206 Russia's aid given is the figure for Saudi Arabia.
P.207 gives Saudi Arabia's aid given as $0.03 billion (0.01% of GDP and not the correct figure of $5.1 billion (0.9%).
P.206 The data for energy production,use,per head consumption is Russia's.
Sorry if this has been a lengthy review, but the level of incompetence this year seemed to demand it.Any other observations would only be my personal opinions.
P.8 states "The all-important factor in a book of this kind is to be able to make reliable comparisons between countries". The frontispiece repeats the mantra " The greatest care has been taken in compiling this book".
Clearly neither is correct and one or more people on the team are taking up valuable office space.
p.s 24th November 2013. P.90 Average household size has Nicaragua at 2.1.
Probably meant Netherlands as Nicarague has an average of 2.6 per room!
Update 17th December 2013. Biggest cities p.19 The authors seem to believe no.10 Karachi is in India and not Pakistan. Date given at column head is 2020?
Update 10th January 2014. p.101 Robberies has Nicaragua in both 7th & 10th spots.