- Finland is the world's most "successful" country socially, economically and politically according to Washington think tank, the Fund for Peace.
- A recent UN report ranked Finland the second happiest country in the world, behind Denmark, based on wealth, political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption.
- Finnish students are also the best in the West, achieving extraordinarily high scores in a triennial survey for the OECD. Finland rivals East Asian educational hothouses such as Singapore and South Korea but without those countries' high-pressure homework expectations.
- The country is conspicuously equal in other arenas, too. It was, for instance, the first in the world to give women the vote in 1906, 12 years before the UK and 14 before the U.S.
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Since it was reformed 40 years ago, Finland's education system has frequently been held up as one of the best in the world.
Today, that changed. Tbe OECD released its PISA global rankings that showed how students in various countries were doing in reading, science, and math. Finland ranked 12th, just behind Estonia.
That's a big drop. Finland had topped the PISA rankings in 2000, 2003, and 2006, and consistently ranked near the top in other years. This year, however, Finnish students had dropped by 2.8% in mathematics, 1.7% in reading and 3% in science.
"The golden days are over," Finnbay, a Finnish news organization wrote just after the results came out.
France has one of the lowest rates of child obesity in the developed world, and is the only country in which child obesity rates have remained stable in the past decade, in stark contrast to the rapidly rising rates elsewhere. In fact, American kids are three times more likely to be overweight than French children. Why? (For a chart with comparative stats on obesity rates, see the bottom of this post.)...
By Michael Schletter for Life By DailyBurn: "If you've been working out for eight plus weeks and haven't started to reap the benefits yet, there's a good chance that one or more of these silent setbacks has found its way into your fitness regimen. ..."
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