The Global Gender Gap Index 2014

Gender inequality is still an acute problem in the modern world. It arises from differences in social, political and civil rights between men and women. This problem has existed since ancient times and remains urgent to the present. Nowadays fighters for women's rights has achieved notable progress. In many countries the differences in rights between men and women have become less noticeable. However, in some regions the women are still highly discriminated against.

The presence and magnitude of gender inequality is evaluated by measuring the representation of men and of women in a range of roles. A number of international comparative gender equality indices have been prepared and these offer a way to compare the level of gender equality in different countries.

World Exporters and Importers Ranking

Over the last thirty years the rating of world exporters has changed significantly. Until 2010 the leading positions were occupied by Germany and the United States, but in 2010 China outpaced the leaders, and till now Cathay remains the largest exporter in the world by a wide margin. According to 2014 numbers, the United States and Germany take the second and the third place in this rating respectively.

As for import, the United States is still the largest importer by the amount of imported goods, according to 2014 results. The second and the third place are occupied by China and Germany respectively, which makes the three nations, described above, top-trading countries in the world in 2014.

LMC Automotive Production & Sales, 2015

LMC Automotive in partnerships with Oxford Economics and JATO Dynamics provides the highest quality global sales and production data and forecasts for light vehicles and heavy trucks. As motor vehicles are big-ticket consumer durables, monthly sales figures in particular are seen as an indicator of broader economic health of a given country. On this dashboard the latest LMC public data for Global light vehicle sales*, passenger car sales in Western Europe, and light vehicle production in North America is presented. 

According to LMC's numbers, the global light vehicle sales in 2014 exceeded 87.3 million cars, 27% of which were sold in China. Car sales in most regions continued to grow in April 2015: +1.6% year-over-year worldwide, +4.6% in the U. S., +7% in Western Europe. However, in Eastern Europe, Japan, Brazil and Argentina light vehicle sales have declined sharply.

The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index

During the three-year period ending 2014, the World Economic Forum has been working on the New Energy Architecture Initiative to deeper understand the changes underway in the global energy system, and how they could be managed to enable an effective transition. A core pillar of this work was the development of The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index.

The EAPI employs a set of indicators to assess and rank energy architectures of 124 countries. The indicators highlight the performance of each country across key dimensions of the "energy triangle", measuring the extent to which a country’s energy architecture adds or detracts from the economy, the environmental impact of energy supply and consumption and how secure, accessible and diversified the energy supply is.

The World's Biggest Public Companies, 2015

The Forbes Global 2000 is an annual ranking of the world’s top 2000 public companies published by Forbes magazine since 2003. The companies are ranked according to four basic metrics: profit, sales, assets and market value.

In total, the world's 2000 biggest public companies account for $162 trillion in assets, $39 trillion in revenues, $3 trillion in profits and $48 trillion in market value, according to the 2015 list.

The world's largest company by market value is still Apple, however the technology industry juggernaut from Cupertino is not the leader by the overall score.

United Kingdom general election, 2015

As a result of the surprising UK parliamentary elections, the Conservative Party has got a majority of 330 seats in the new UK Parliament. The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have lost much more seats than it had been expected according to the pre-election polls. For the Liberal Democrats it was the absolute defeat: they've lost 48 of 56 parliamentary seats. 

According to the report by The Smith Institute the average age of the Member of Parliament (MP) following the election has risen to 51.2 years  - the highest level in the past years. Only 15% of newly elected and re-elected MPs are under 40 years old (5% less than in 2010). The gender balance continues to improve. In 1987 women made up only 6% of all MPs, whereas in the previous parliament their share improved to 22% and in the newly elected parliament it increased to 29%.

Half Century of US Food Stamps

In 1964 United States by the Food Stamp Act of 1964 have re-established the Food Stamp Program intended to provide food-purchasing assistance for low- and no-income people living in the U.S. In 2008 the program was renamed as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As of 2014, 46.5 million Americans or 14.6% of resident population were receiving SNAP benefits (monthly average). The average SNAP client received a monthly benefit of $125.35. Total program cost has exceeded 74 billion dollars.