Cover image for The new book of world rankings
The new book of world rankings
Kurian, George Thomas.
Personal Author:
Third edition / updated by James Marti.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [1991]

Physical Description:
xxi, 324 pages ; 27 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HA155 .K87 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This international reference work contains up-to-date listings which compare 200 countries in terms of geography, politics, economy and culture. For each category, a standardized chart ranks countries in relation to each other. Countries are ranked by such variables as birth rate and population density, scientific development, military power, political stability, economy, export growth rate and much more.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This third edition has been completely revamped to reflect today's international political, social, technical, and ecological attitudes and concerns. The book was previously published as The Book of World Rankings [RBB S 15 84]. With the exception of the chapters on geography and climate, race and religion, finance and banking, and vital statistics, which have remained virtually unchanged in arrangement, it is nearly impossible to do direct comparisons between the second and third editions. Although the chapter headings remain the same, numerous tables and categories in the previous edition have been omitted from the current edition and others have been substituted. The most drastic revisions occur in chapters on politics and international relations, foreign aid, military power, and economy and consumption of various products. Generally, emphasis has shifted from specifics to generalities. This is most evident in the sections pertaining to population, politics, defense, and foreign aid. New tables on domestic taxes, gross domestic product growth, and government expenditure have been added to the chapter on economy. Consumer products measured in previous editions have been completely changed here. Statistics for high-cholesterol products, cereal, fruit, fish, and liquor have been replaced with items such as cigarettes, soft drinks, beer, and wine. All nonfood commodities (paper, rubber, steel, gas, etc.) have been eliminated. The distinctly upbeat tone prevalent throughout the entire revised edition is most noticeable in the health and food chapter. Previously, this chapter measured hospital admissions, death rates from specific diseases, and specific types of accidents. Now death-rate charts have been replaced by statistics on sanitation, safe water, population-per-physician ratios, and hospital bed occupancy rates. Generally, the majority of additions and deletions in each chapter have not affected the overall quality or purpose of The New Book of World Rankings. In fact, these changes may help make future revisions more uniform. Despite the contextual changes, the format and style of the third edition have remained consistent with previous editions. Chapters are divided into subject sections, each of which opens with a brief introductory discussion of the data measured, followed by a box containing the number of countries in the survey, the data midpoint/median, the period covered, the type of ranking (description of the table), and the highest- and lowest-ranked nations within each geographic region. The detailed ranking statistical table or chart and its source follow. Individual country profiles at the end of the book summarize each country's rankings in essay form. As with any statistical survey, the data compiled are dated, much of them from 1984-88. However, The New Book of World Rankings continues to maintain its status as a unique international statistical resource. For this reason, public and high school libraries will want to add this revision. Until editions become more uniform, it would be wise to keep the second edition and use it in conjunction with this new one. (Reviewed Sept. 1, 1991)

School Library Journal Review

YA-- A streamlined version of the second edition (490p.), yet covering over 200 nations and territories rather than the earlier 150+ places, this entry continues the general format. Twenty three major categories ranging from geography and climate through economy, education, crime, consumption, media, and culture are divided into 230 statistical analyses. Each ranking begins with a short introduction. Trivia buffs, statistical junkies, and those in need of concrete information will all benefit from this text. Useful for social studies, debate, and, to a lesser degree, journalism students. --Barbara Hawkins, West Potomac High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.