Are you a globalization junkie? Then test your knowledge of global trends, economics, and politics with 8 questions about how the world works.
1. If the United States deported all its illegal immigrants at once, how long would the bus convoy be?
a) 18 miles b) 180 miles c) 1,800 miles
2. The world's wind-power generation capacity increased how much in 2009?
a) 11 percent b) 21 percent c) 31 percent
3. Which country had the highest rate of economic growth in 2009?
a) Afghanistan b) China c) Qatar
4. In 2009, China produced 568 million metric tons of crude steel. How much did the No. 2 country produce?
a) 88 million metric tons b) 298 million c) 458 million
5. Which country spends the most time on social-networking websites?
a) Australia b) Japan c) United States
6. Which country had the lowest rate of economic growth in 2009?
a) Latvia b) Lithuania c) Iceland
7. How much did new-car registrations change last year globally?
a) 14 percent decrease b) no change c) 7 percent increase
8. By how many percentage points did worldwide unemployment change from 1999 to 2009?
a) up 0.2 points b) up 1.2 points c) up 2.2 points
Answers on the next page.
Answers to the FP Quiz
1) C, 1,800 miles. To deport the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States en masse, it would take more than 200,000 buses, stretching more than 1,800 miles, according to a Center for American Progress report. The cost would be nearly $300 billion over five years.
2) C, 31 percent. The economy may have been sputtering along in 2009, but wind turbines were spinning furiously, with installed wind-power capacity increasing nearly a third from 120.6 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2008 to 157.9 GW by the end of 2009, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. China more than doubled its wind-power capacity, overtaking Spain -- where Don Quixote famously tilted at windmills -- for the No. 3 spot. At this rate, it could soon surpass No. 2 Germany and No. 1 United States.
3) A, Afghanistan. The insurgent-overrun country may have a per capita GDP of only $461 and an unemployment rate of 40 percent, but its economy was booming last year at an estimated rate of 15.7 percent, according to the IMF. Much of that growth was due to internationally backed reconstruction programs, as well as private construction and services, such as the $1.5 billion invested in telecom since 2003. Meanwhile the economy of oil-rich Qatar, the second fastest-growing, expanded 11.5 percent, and No. 3 China increased its GDP 8.5 percent.
4) A, 88 million metric tons. In 2009, world crude-steel production tumbled 8 percent compared with 2008, as construction projects were put on hold during the Great Recession. But China has been building large amounts of infrastructure and increased its steel production 13.5 percent to 567.8 million metric tons, 47 percent of the world's total, according to the World Steel Association. That's 6.5 times the 87.5 million metric tons that No. 2 Japan produced and 2.6 times what China itself produced a mere six years earlier in 2003.
5) A, Australia. Aussie users of social-networking sites spent an average of almost seven hours on activities such as twittering and "friending" people in December 2009, according to media-information firm Nielsen. American social networkers were similarly addicted, with 6 hours, 9 minutes, that month, while the Japanese, at 2 hours, 50 minutes, appear to spend their time on other activities. Overall, social networking is more and more of a time-suck. In the 10 countries analyzed by Nielsen, average social-networking time increased 82 percent, from just over three hours in December 2008 to five and a half hours in December 2009. [Update, June 9, 2010: The new answer, based on more recent information from Nielsen, is Italy. Please see this Passport post.]
6) B, Lithuania. Lithuania's economy shrank 18.5 percent in 2009, while the decrease was 18 percent in Latvia and 14 percent in Estonia, according to IMF estimates. From 2000 to 2007, the Baltic economies were roaring, in part due to economic liberalization and relatively low-cost labor. But the credit boom turned into a credit crunch with the financial crisis. Although Lithuania had a slightly worse economic crash last year, Latvia has received much attention due to the 7.5 billion euro bailout it received from the European Union, the IMF, and others in 2008 and the collapse of its government in February 2009.
7) A, 14 percent decrease. The rising middle classes in China and India may have been buying cars like crazy, and governments may have tried to stimulate their economies with various "cash for clunkers" programs, but with the economic downturn, 2009 was the worst year on record for automakers, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. But new-car registrations are forecast to rise 4.7 percent this year, with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way with nearly 20 million passenger-car registrations.
8) A, up 0.2 percentage points. Although the roughly 10 percent unemployment rate in many developed countries has received much attention, in the decade from 1999 to 2009, worldwide unemployment increased relatively slightly from 6.4 to 6.6 percent, according to International Labour Organization estimates. Currently, East Asian workers are doing the best, facing a 4.4 percent unemployment rate in 2009, down from 4.7 percent in 1999.