On the rugby stats, South Africa could be expected to dominate on the field, but on our social equality rankings, it comes a lowly 18th and would be out of the competition at this phase. Australia ranks 8th, aided by a much better Gini coefficient of 35 on a 0-100 scale (where 0 represents total equality of income in the country). South Africa has a Gini figure of 58, placing it 16th on income inequality alone.
Even greater disparity is shown on the gender inequality index, where Australia (on a 0-100 scale) scores 29 while South Africa rates at 63.5.
The only social equality indicator that South Africa performs better on is on military spending, where they allocate 1.4 percent of gross domestic product compared to Australia’s 1.9 percent. However, more internal conflict and violence puts South Africa at 18th compared to Australia’s 7th of the 20 rugby nations on the Global Peace Index.
It may be a hard call to make on the field, but in the social equality stakes – Australia’s the undoubted winner in this match.
Two vastly different rugby teams, two vastly different countries. But they do have some key things in common – high reliance on agriculture for national income (Argentina is Latin America’s second-largest agricultural producer), and a highly unequal sharing of that wealth
New Zealand places at 11th on income equality among the rugby nations, while Argentina falls a little further away at 15th. New Zealand performs better on gender equality: 6th compared to Argentina’s 14th placing; while the rugby capital of the world tops the table on the global peace index and transparency.
What Argentina has going for it though is that it is arguably the happiest rugby playing nation on the planet. It scores 59 on the 0-100 Happy Planet Index (where 100 is highest – representing long life and general wellbeing coupled with minimal environmental impact). New Zealand by contrast scores 36.2, placing it 13th on this scale. Argentina also spends less on its military as a proportion of gross domestic product, but that’s more than counterbalanced by low scores for global peace and transparency. This all adds up, in the overall rankings, to New Zealand placing 5th and Argentina 14th.
In this match, both the rugby and social analysis concur – New Zealand is the winner.
Martin de Jong is Communications and International Advocacy Coordinator for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.