The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a correlation between per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Death Rate, and the Life Expectancy among various countries around the world. It is intuitive to believe that a greater per capita GDP would mean greater wealth and the benefits that go with it…
First, as per capita GDP increases, the life expectancy also increases for that country. Second, as per capita GDP increases the death rate would decrease for that country.
The data was gathered from the US Central Intelligence Agency Factbook available online. Information was gathered from 220 countries that listed their per capita GDP, death rate, and life expectancy. Every attempt was made to use the most current data available, and all of the data was from 2007-2008. No data used was older than the data from 2007. The per capita GDP was the 2007 rate, and the death rate and life expectancy were based on 2008 estimates.
From this list of 220 countries, a group of 30 countries were selected for analyzing by the following method: The countries were sorted in ascending order according to the per capita GDP. The highest and the lowest countries were eliminated. The countries were selected by choosing every seventh country from the list, resulting in a final list of 30 countries. Standard deviation was calculated using the n-1 method using the Excel spreadsheet.
The per capita GDP had a high of $79,400 in Luxembourg and a low of $300 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for a range of $79,100. The mean per capita GDP was $7600, with a standard deviation of $17,635. Though the United States was not on the list used for evaluation, it is included as a reference point at $45,800.
The Death Rate The Death Rate is measured in deaths per 1000 population. It ranged from a low of 3.53 in the Gaza Strip to a high of 22.33 in Lesotho for a range of 18.8. The median death rate was 7.49, and a standard deviation of 4.11. The median death rate is marginally less than the US's 8.27.
Life expectancy is listed in years and ranged from a low of 40.17 years in Lesotho to a high of 79.36 years in Austria. The life expectancy range was 39.19 years and a median life expectancy of 73 years with a standard deviation of 9.91 years. The global median life expectancy is below the US's life expectancy of 78.14 years.
Tables 1, 2, and 3 are the comprehensive lists of the data used for this research that has been ordered by per capita GDP, death rate, and life expectancy.
The Data: Initial Examination
For an initial examination of the data, it is helpful to view the information on a histogram. This gives a visual indication of the range of the data as well as the distribution across the range. Figures 1, 2, and 3 are the histograms that represent the per capita GDP, death rate, and life expectancy respectfully.
Table 1: Data sorted by per capita GDP
Per Capita GDP
Rank Per Cap GDP
Death Rate per 1000 pop
Rank Death Rate
Life Exp Rank
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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