Infographics that Simplify International Issues

The bigger the world gets, the more complex the issues that affect it become.

Here are a few infographics that take complex issues down to their brass tacks. They won’t tell you everything you need to know to appear as a talking head on CNN, but they can certainly educate you enough to not look like an ass at your next dinner party.

The Middle East Friendship Chart

With fresh civil wars budding up each week and tense talks of nuclear armament, it’s always worth knowing who’s friends with who in the Middle East.

middle east alliances chart

This screenshot (via Slate) is an excellent cheat sheet for the chaos. The live version is interactive and provides a short blurb explaining the state of each relationship. Check it out here.

Russia and Ukraine Comparison

Most people are aware that Russia has more resources than the Ukraine, but few people are aware of just how one-sided the conflict is. This simple chart (via Halimi) effectively illustrates the disparity.

russa v ukraine

One thing that this infographic doesn’t do (but should) is illustrate what the difference between those numbers would look like. It’s easy to overlook the difference between a billion and a trillion, or the substantial disparity that a decimal point can create. You can check out our previous post on what makes a good infographic great here.

ABC News (Australia) followed our advice when they created their Russia v Ukraine infographic here.

Understanding the Difference Between the UK, Great Britain, and Ireland

This doesn’t seem as serious as the previous two infographics – until you make the mistake of asking an Irishman how he likes being British.


This diagram does exactly what an infographic is supposed to; it uses a few circles and clear labelling to make sense of a concept that’s maddening to try and clarify using only words.

via Wikipedia.

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