The World's Top Car-Owning Countries

The United States is often criticized for its perceived nonchalance toward air pollution despite persistent statements to the contrary by the current presidential administration. The US remains the number one contributor globally to harmful chemicals in the air, with the fossil-fuel consuming transportation industry being a primary emission source. With more than 250 million vehicles on US roads, the US surpasses even China based on total vehicles in use despite China's much larger population... at least for now. China has already surpassed the US in annual new car sales.

Number of Starbucks Stores Globally, 1992-2016

Today Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 23,571 retail locations as of the first quarter of 2016. Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, Washington, and incorporated on November 4, 1985 to become the publicly traded Starbucks Corporation. Based on the company's positive, sustained operating results, it is ranked among Forbes' top-500 world's biggest public companies. As of 2015, Starbucks' profit was $2.5 billion and it had a market value of $70.9 billion. While Starbucks initially focused on the domestic US market, in 1966 the company opened its first stores outside the US. Since then, Starbucks' international footprint has expanded to 10,918 stores located in three main markets: the Americas, which includes Canada, Latin America, and the US; China and Asia Pacific (CAP); and Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

When India will have more people than China?

Currently, population of China is about 70 million persons higher than population of India according to United Nations Estimates: 1.38 against 1.31 billions. Other sources' estimates of current population range from 1.37 to 1.40 billions for China and from 1.28 to 1.31 billions for India.

According to the United Nations' forecast, existing difference between populations of two countries will level off by 2022. Food and Agriculture Organization gives later date - 2024. OECD and UNCTAD predict that this will happen even lately - in 2028. On the contrary, World Bank's estimates propose that India will outpace China as early as in 2021 - in some 5 years. To compare projections from different sources in detail, visit our World in 2020 page.

Airline Industry | In Focus

Evolving threats to civil aviation will almost certainly drive demand for investment in new security technologies to detect and mitigate against security threats while leaving total global air passenger traffic relatively unscathed because of strong growth drivers. Industry analysts anticipate that the global aviation sector's growth in 2016 will exceed the 6.5 percent growth in passenger traffic last year. Drivers for growth include increasing air traffic volumes in China, South East Asia, and the Middle East as well as sustained lower global oil prices. 

Recent deadly plane crashes, including Russia (March 2016) and Egypt (October 2015), as well as the terrorist attack at the airport in Brussels, Belgium, present wildcards that will likely only affect the industry's growth on the margins.

Economic and Social Crisis in Zambia - Copper's Fall at Center

Zambia is a copper-rich African country that just three years ago was the darling of international investors seeking to expand their mineral portfolios. Mining investment - encouraged by privatization of the copper mines in the late 1990s - and the copper price boom that started in late 2008 served to support the sustained economic growth the country had achieved since implementing measures in 2004 to support greater fiscal discipline. Leading multinational mining companies, including Barrick Gold Corp., First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Glencore PLC, have become major investors in Zambia's mining industry. 

Zambia's fortunes have turned, putting it on the path to become the newest "resource curse" story as its economy suffers from the perils of over-dependence on a single commodity and a handful of multinational mining companies.

Leap Day | Myths, statistics, and practical reality

Almost every four years it’s a leap year. Leap years have one extra day due to an astronomical fact about the earth’s revolution around the sun. It takes roughly 365 and one quarter days to go around the sun, however the standard calendar year lasts only 365 days. Were we to ignore the extra quarter of a day, strange things would eventually happen to our seasons - like winter and snow in July. To counteract the accumulation of additional quarters of a day, theGregorian calendar adds an extra day of February 29 nearly every four years.

Until Julius Caesar came to power, people observed a 355-day calendar - with an extra 22-day month every two years. But it was a convoluted solution to the problem and feast days began sliding into different seasons. So Caesar ordered his astronomer to simplify things. Astronomer opted for the 365-day year with an extra day every four years to scoop up the extra hours. This is how the 29 February was born.

Pew Research Center | Religion & Politics: Muslim Americans

A Pew Research Center survey in January 2016 reveals nuanced statistics on the familiarity of Americans with Muslims and their perceptions of anti-Americanism among Muslims in the United States.

Only about half of Americans claim to personally know someone who is Muslim. Blacks, young people and those with a college degree are more likely than other groups to say they personally know someone who is Muslim. This may be explained, in part, by the demographics of Muslims residing in the US themselves, who make up about 1 percent of the US population, tend to be younger and more highly educated than the US public overall, and in roughly one quarter of responses identify as black or African American.