Two maps that put Maine’s place on the world stage into perspective, and offers some assurance that we live very well here, despite a smallish-by-comparison economy.
The first, above, was compiled by Atlantic writer Olga Khazan and puts Maine’s average life expectancy — 79.2 years — squarely equal to that of the much more populous and prosperous United Arab Emirates.
Maine’s life expectancy is below the national average, and even further below the New England average (which apparently hovers around Portugal).
The good news, such as it is, is Maine’s life expectancy equals that of the one of the world’s strongest economies, which is notable given the second map:
This map, compiled by Redditor Phaenthi and making the rounds of Slate and Business Insider, puts Maine’s gross domestic product of about $46 billion as roughly equivalent to the one of the world’s largest cotton and gold producers: Uzbekistan.
A little about Uzbekistan: The former Soviet bloc country has an oppressive government known for tight controls on information, plus an ugly habit of conscripting its workforce to support the annual cotton harvest.
What does it all mean? In Maine, we live as long as those in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, despite an economic output equivalent to, well, a place that regularly forces its workers into the fields.
There’s no doubt that Maine must grow it’s economy, and has an aging population that poses all sorts of future challenges.
But given our global comps, we’re doing quite well with what we have.