by Max Barry

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Spotlight on:

National Flag

The Republic of Bzerneleg

“E pluribus unum”

Category: New York Times Democracy
Civil Rights:
Political Freedoms:

Regional Influence: Shoeshiner

Location: the South Pacific



Population5.96 billion

LeaderDonald Blythe


The Republic of Bzerneleg is a colossal, efficient nation, ruled by Donald Blythe with a fair hand, and remarkable for its free-roaming dinosaurs, otherworldly petting zoo, and devotion to social welfare. The compassionate, hard-working, democratic, cheerful population of 5.96 billion Bzernes enjoy a sensible mix of personal and economic freedoms, while the political process is open and the people's right to vote held sacrosanct.

The medium-sized, corrupt government juggles the competing demands of Education, Industry, and Environment. It meets to discuss matters of state in the capital city of Belmont. Citizens pay a flat income tax of 57.3%.

The frighteningly efficient Bzernelegian economy, worth 962 trillion Francs a year, is fairly diversified and led by the Information Technology industry, with major contributions from Tourism, Retail, and Book Publishing. Average income is an impressive 161,530 Francs, but there is a significant disparity between incomes, with the richest 10% of citizens earning 543,946 per year while the poor average 35,538, a ratio of 15.3 to 1.

Veteran cops reminisce over their heavy armor days, the government is deliberately installing bloatware onto computers, the best way to be heard in politics is to speak softly and carry a big comedy prop, and citizens recently voted in favour of declaring bubblewrap an 'abomination of nature'. Crime is totally unknown. Bzerneleg's national animal is the Bear, which frolics freely in the nation's many lush forests.

Bzerneleg is ranked 8,586th in the world and 277th in the South Pacific for Most Developed, scoring 87.91 on the Human Development Index.

Rudest Citizens: 2,584thLargest Retail Industry: 2,715thMost World Assembly Endorsements: 3,053rdMost Inclusive: 3,080thLargest Publishing Industry: 3,565thMost Rebellious Youth: 3,671stMost Cheerful Citizens: 4,413thHighest Wealthy Incomes: 4,487thMost Cultured: 5,289thMost Efficient Economies: 5,485thMost Influential: 6,133rdLargest Information Technology Sector: 7,329thTop
Most Developed: 8,586thMost Scientifically Advanced: 8,953rdLongest Average Lifespans: 9,506thNicest Citizens: 9,507thLargest Cheese Export Sector: 9,609thSmartest Citizens: 9,951stMost Popular Tourist Destinations: 10,164thHighest Average Incomes: 10,188thMost Subsidized Industry: 10,439thMost Beautiful Environments: 10,749thMost Compassionate Citizens: 11,994thMost Pacifist: 12,714thBest Weather: 14,332ndHighest Disposable Incomes: 14,574thHighest Economic Output: 14,757th
Rudest Citizens: 82nd in the regionLargest Retail Industry: 83rd in the regionLargest Publishing Industry: 92nd in the regionHighest Wealthy Incomes: 92nd in the regionMost Efficient Economies: 99th in the regionMost Rebellious Youth: 100th in the regionMost Inclusive: 103rd in the regionMost Cheerful Citizens: 123rd in the regionMost Cultured: 145th in the regionLargest Information Technology Sector: 234th in the regionHighest Economic Output: 249th in the regionMost Subsidized Industry: 250th in the regionHighest Average Incomes: 261st in the regionMost Scientifically Advanced: 271st in the regionMost Developed: 277th in the regionTop
Smartest Citizens: 298th in the regionLargest Cheese Export Sector: 307th in the regionLongest Average Lifespans: 314th in the regionMost Popular Tourist Destinations: 327th in the regionNicest Citizens: 337th in the regionMost Beautiful Environments: 340th in the regionLargest Populations: 400th in the regionLargest Governments: 409th in the regionHighest Disposable Incomes: 425th in the regionMost Advanced Public Transport: 428th in the regionMost Compassionate Citizens: 434th in the regionBest Weather: 474th in the regionMost Eco-Friendly Governments: 476th in the regionLargest Soda Pop Sector: 480th in the regionMost Advanced Public Education: 487th in the regionMost Pacifist: 515th in the regionNudest: 515th in the regionMost Influential: 519th in the regionHealthiest Citizens: 537th in the regionMost World Assembly Endorsements: 567th in the regionMost Corrupt Governments: 571st in the regionGreatest Rich-Poor Divides: 580th in the region

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