18 Startling Things America Is Behind on Compared to the Rest of the World

Over 330 million people currently live in the United States which is renowned for its innovation and progress. Yet, in several key areas, America lags behind its global counterparts. Let’s explore 18 aspects where the U.S. is playing catch-up with the rest of the world.

Providing Universal Healthcare

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While most developed countries offer some form of universal healthcare, making sure everyone gets medical attention, the U.S. is still playing catch-up. Here, healthcare is a mix of private and public providers, and this often leads to folks falling through the cracks or facing sky-high bills. An Associated Press-NORC poll showed that only about 20% of Americans say they have reliable access to healthcare.

Adopting Renewable Energy

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When it comes to green energy, the U.S. could do better. Developed nations are quickly embracing renewables like wind and solar, while America’s still pretty hooked on oil and gas. Boosting renewable energy use isn’t just good for the planet; it’s also a smart move for the future of energy independence.

Giving Maternity Leave

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In the U.S., new moms often have to rely on a hodgepodge of short-term disability, unpaid leave, or whatever their employer offers, if they’re lucky. This is pretty out of step with many countries, where paid maternity leave is the norm. As per Healthline, the U.S. “is the only high-income country to not offer paid maternity leave on a federal level.”

Expanding Public Transportation

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Ever tried getting around a major U.S. city without a car? It can be a headache. In contrast, lots of places around the world have top-notch public transit systems. Investing in better buses, trains, and subways could make life easier for millions of Americans and help reduce traffic jams.

Allowing Work-Life Balance

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Americans are known for working hard, but maybe it’s time to work a bit smarter. Other countries have figured out that balancing work with life and family isn’t just nice; it’s essential for happiness and health. More flexible hours and a culture shift might be just what we need. According to the Harvard Business Review, a study of 78 professionals in London revealed the importance of a work-life balance, with employees “questioning assumptions to increase self-awareness.”

Results From The Education System

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American students, when stacked up against their global peers, often don’t come out on top, especially in subjects like math and science. This points to a need for shaking up how we do education – more funding, better resources, and maybe some fresh teaching methods to give kids a leg up.

Accessing Fast Internet

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In the digital age, fast and affordable internet is a must, but the U.S. is lagging behind on this front too. Many countries have us beat with quicker speeds and lower prices. Boosting our internet game could help everyone stay connected and competitive.

Recycling and Waste Management

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When it comes to recycling and handling trash, the U.S. could learn a thing or two from other countries. Better waste management systems elsewhere lead to less stuff in landfills and a happier planet.

Supporting Early Childhood Education

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Getting a head start on learning can make a big difference, but the U.S. is behind in making early childhood education available and affordable. This is something other countries have nailed, setting their kids up for success from the get-go.

Managing Gun Control Legislation

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The U.S. stands out for its gun laws and, sadly, its gun violence. The majority of countries with stricter gun control see far fewer incidents, which makes you wonder if it’s time for a change in how we approach firearms.

Rocketing Childhood Obesity Rates

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America’s kids are facing an obesity epidemic, unlike many other countries where childhood obesity rates are much lower. This could be a cue to put more emphasis on healthy eating and getting active, both at school and at home.

Building Affordable Housing

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Finding a decent place to live without breaking the bank is getting tougher in the U.S., while other countries have found ways to keep housing affordable. Maybe it’s time to borrow some ideas.

Modernizing the Electoral System

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Elections are the cornerstone of democracy, but the U.S. system has its quirks and hiccups, like outdated tech and complicated voter registration. Most democracies have streamlined the process, making voting easier and more secure.

A Swelling Prison Population

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The U.S. has an incarceration problem, with more people behind bars than any other country. Those who focus on rehabilitating folks have lower rates of re-offending. It could help to rethink our approach to justice and give people a real shot at a second chance.

A Healthy Approach to Rest

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Paid time off is a rarity for many American workers, unlike in many places where it’s standard. Guaranteeing paid vacation and sick days could go a long way in making sure everyone gets the rest and recovery time they need.

Rates of Obesity

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It’s not just the kids – America’s got one of the highest obesity rates around. We could take a leaf out of other countries’ books, where there’s more focus on healthy lifestyles and access to good food for everyone.

Pushing Gender Equality in Leadership

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In the boardroom and in politics, the U.S. is still making up ground on gender equality. Many countries have made big strides in getting more women into leadership roles, showing it’s not just fair, it’s good for business and society.


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