The Sarmatian Review Index

Life and death

Percentage of Poles who would support a law allowing doctors to apply medication that would "shorten the sufferings of the incurably ill": 51 percent.

Percentage of those against: 36 percent.

Percentage of Poles who approve of euthanasia: approximately 36 percent.

Percentage of Poles who disapprove of euthanasia: approximately 51 percent.

Source: Center for the Study of Public Opinion (CBOS) poll, as reported by Donosy, 27 August 1999.


Percentage fall in the number of people aged between 25 and 50 by 2020: Britain, 8 percent; Germany, 11 percent; Italy, 19 percent.

Percentage increase in the number of people aged between 25 and 50 in the United States by 2020: three percent.

Source: Economist, 4-10 September 1999. Notable quote from Paul Wallace, author of a book on global ageing: "Populations in Europe are poised to plunge on a scale not seen since the Black Death in 1348."

Number of ethnic Chinese living in the Russian Federation in 1999: 2.5 million.

Source: Russian Statistics Committee, as reported by Michael Waller, Russia Reform Monitor, no. 658 (5 July 1999).

Percentage of St. Petersburg inhabitants who live in communal apartments: 40 percent.

Source: Marina Koreneva of Agence France-Presse (St. Petersburg), 24 November 1999.

The share of American workers in physically demanding jobs in 1950 and 1996, respectively: 20.3 percent and 7.5 percent.

Source: Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute in the United States, as reported by Economist, 4-10 September 1999.


Projected largest industries in 2020: 1. tourism 2. oil industry.

Projected number of tourists in 2020: 1.6 billion people, or triple the present number.

Source: Ben Partridge, "Global Warming Could Threaten Tourism," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 3 September 1999.


Percentage of American men aged between 60 and 64 that are still in the labor force: 50 percent.

Percentage of German, French, and Dutch men between 60 and 64 that are still in the labor force: 33 percent, 19 percent, and 19 percent, respectively.

Source: Economist, 4-10 September 1999.


Place of Russia among America's trading partners in 1999: #30, ahead of the Dominican Republic (#31) and behind Colombia (#29).

Source: Michael Dobbs and Paul Blustein, "Lost Illusions," Washington Post, 12 September 1999.

Value of the Russian ruble vs. American dollar in 1876: $1=18 rubles.

Source: Elizabeth (Anver) Denning, "Immigration from Russia to America" <>.

Value of the Russian ruble vs. American dollar on 1 December 1999: $1=26.745 rubles.

Source: Daily exchange rate quotes, <>.

Percentage drop in foreign car sales in Russia during the first six months of 1999: 90 percent.

Source: Associated Press (Moscow), 28 July 1999.

Percentage of the Russian Federation's population living in poverty: 40 percent.

Unemployment and poverty rate in the province of Dagestan before the 1999–2000 Russian-Chechen war: 80 percent.

Source: Institute for Socioeconomic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as reported by Segodnia, 30 August 1999.

Polish trade deficit in the first half of 1999: $8.4 billion, or 3.4 percent less than in the same period last year.

Polish exports in the first half of 1999: $12.9 billion, or 8.1 percent less than in the same period last year.

Polish imports: $21.3 billion, or 6.6 percent less than last year.

Polish export markets: Germany (36.9 percent of exports), Italy (seven percent), the Netherlands (5.3 percent), France (5.1 percent).

Percentage of Polish exports that go to the European Union: 71.9 percent.

Polish imports from EU: 66 percent of the total.

Source: Polish Statistics Office, as reported by AFP, 20 August 1999.

The ratio of stock market values to gross domestic product in the United States in 1999: 1.3, or the higest in history.

An international median ratio of same: 0.5.

Source: Scott Burns in Houston Chronicle, 27 September 1999.

Percentage of Germany's gross domestic product produced by the "shadow economy": 15 percent.

Source: Josef Joffe, "'Italianization' of Continent in Europe's best interest," Houston Chronicle, 14 October 1999.

Total foreign investment in Poland since 1989: $35.5 billion (including $10.1 billion in 1998 and $4.9 billion in the first half of 1999).

Source: Pierre-Antoine Donnet of AFP, 10 September 1999.

More economic data for July 1999 in Poland: unemployment, 11.7 percent; year-on-year inflation, 6.3 percent; average salary in state-owned enterprises, 1852 Zl (an increase of 9.9 percent since July 1998).

Source: Polish Statistics Office, as reported by Donosy, 23 August 1999, and AFP (Warsaw), 16 August 1999.

Average official salary in Russia in 1999: 1,700 rubles a month.

Source: Moskovskii Komsomolets, 17 November 1999, as reported by AFP on the same day.

Postcommunist realities

Percentage of the Polish life-insurance market held by Panstwowy Zaklad Ubezpieczen (PZU, a former state insurance monopoly): 65 percent.

Percentage of the market for insurance of goods and property held by PZU: 63 percent.

Estimated value of PZU to potential purchasers: $1.5 billion.

Date by which the Polish government intends to privatize PZU: 2001.

Source: AFP, 8 September 1999.

Number of Russians who emigrated to the United States in 1998: 11,000.

Source: US Consul General in Moscow Laura Clerici, as reported by RFE/RL, 3 September 1999.

Numerical drop in membership in the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies between 1989--99: from 4,000 to 3,400.

Source: Ken Ringle, "Scholars Left Out In the Thaw," Washington Post, 13 November 1999.

Wealth disparities

The ratio of American top executive to factory worker pay in 1980 and in 1999, respectively: 42 and 419.

Source: "A Decade of Executive Excess," the sixth annual survey of executive compensation by the Institute for Policy Studies and by United for a Fair Economy, as reported by Tim Smart in Washington Post, 30 August 1999.


Number of visas issued yearly to Russians by U.S. consulates in Moscow and St. Petersburg since 1991: 250,000.

Estimated number of criminals thus admitted to the United States: "thousands."

Source: Arnaud de Borchgrave, "Russian kleptocracy well known in the West," UPI, 29 August 1999.


Percentage of Americans believing in Darwinist evolution, theistic evolution, or creationism: 10 percent, 39 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

Source: A 1997 Gallup poll, as reported by Houston Chronicle, 19 September 1999.

Percentage of Poles who believe in dreams: 60 percent.

Percentage of Poles who read horoscopes in newspapers: 50 percent.

Percentage of Poles who consulted a fortune teller at least once in their lives: 13 percent.

Source: Center for the Study of Public Opinion (OBOP) poll, as reported by Donosy, 9 September 1999.


Number of democratic countries in 1980 (out of 121): 37.

Number of democracies in 1998 (out of 193): 117.

Percentage of world population living in democracies in 1980 and in 1998: 37 percent and 54 percent.

Source: Economist, 11-17 September 1999.


Number of nuclear warheads Russia can retain according to START II agreement which Russia has signed but not ratified: between 3,000 and 3,500 by 2007.

Estimated number of nuclear warheads and strategic ballistic missiles Russia presently has: 4,500 warheads and 1,000 missiles, or well below the 6,000 warheads allowed under the START I treaty with the United States.

Source: U.S. intelligence report released 9 September 1999, as reported by AFP (Washington), 9 September 1999.

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The Sarmatian Review
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