Among industrialized nations, the United States has the

  • highest poverty rate
  • greatest inequality of incomes
  • lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged
  • lowest average number of days for paid holiday, annual leaves and maternity leaves
  • lowest score on the United Nations index of “material well-being of children”
  • worst score on the United Nations gender inequality index
  • lowest social mobility
  • highest public and private expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP

These trends are accompanied by the:

  • highest infant mortality rate
  • highest prevalence of mental-health problems
  • highest obesity rate
  • highest proportion of population going without health care due to cost
  • second-lowest birth-weight for children per capita, behind only Japan
  • highest consumption of antidepressants per capita
  • third-shortest life expectancy at birth, behind only Denmark and Portugal
  • highest carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption per capita
  • second-lowest score on the World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index, behind only Belgium
  • third-largest ecologist footprint per capita, behind only Belgium and Denmark
  • highest rate of failure to ratify international agreements
  • lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP
  • highest military spending as a portion of GDP
  • highest international arm sales
  • fourth-worst balance of payments, behind only New Zealand, Spain and Portugal
  • third-lowest scores for student performance in math, behind only Portugal and Italy, and far from the top in both science and reading
  • second-highest high-school dropout rate, behind only Spain
  • highest homicide rate
  • largest prison population per capita