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 Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


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

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In