North Korea's Economic Backwardness in One Picture

More

After the announcement that Kim Jong Il had passed away, this striking picture was bouncing around Twitter last night. I apologize to the discoverer that I can't seem to trace it back to its source, but it's an astounding look at North Korea's utter failure to capitalize on the economic development that swept the world -- and not least, its neighbor -- over the last half century.

http://upbynoon.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/korea_night1.jpg

The CIA World Factbook puts North Korea's electricity consumption (that is, total electricity generated) at a not-entirely-terrible 69th in the world, just behind Puerto Rico and ahead of Nigeria and Iceland. But given the centralization of all North Korean resources, and especially resources required by for the military (which consumes up to a third of the state's budget), one assumes that the per-capita electricity consumption less military is closer to the state's GDP-per-capita rank: 195th in the world.

Also see Becca Rosen's nighttime snapshot to compare with China.

____

Update: And another from commenter "wiredog."

Screen Shot 2011-12-19 at 12.27.33 PM.png

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In