About two in three women aged 25 to 64 years old are in employment in the European Union, the highest proportion since the data series began 23 years ago. However, the EU average conceals considerable variation between regions.
As Japan and South Korea seek to raise birth rates, their paid paternity leave is now the most generous in the world. French and German fathers are entitled to longer leave than the OECD average, but Italy and the US lag behind.
The number of credit institutions in the EU dropped 20 per cent in the 10 years to February 2016. The decline was steeper in France and Spain, milder in the UK and Poland, while in Ireland there are more banks now than 10 years ago.
Renewable energy sources- particularly wind, hydro and solar- are expected to account for the biggest change in global electricity generation between 2013 and 2020, larger than that from all other sources combined, according to IEA data. Read more
‘Greenfield’ FDI – crossborder investments in physical projects excluding M&A, increased by nine per cent last year, to $713bn. Oil and gas attracted the largest amount, followed by real estate, but the amount invested in renewable energy increased fastest, up 73% to $76bn, according to data from fDI Markets.
How much land has been acquired for investment and agriculture over the past decade? The truth is nobody really knows.
Non-government organisations, media and academic publications have been assessing so-called land deals – where outsiders acquire huge tracts of land for commercial use – through field reports and by crowdsourcing data online. Read more
About two in five US private sector workers – nearly 44m people – lack access to paid sick leave. The proportion rises to 7 in 10 of those with the lowest wages
On average couples are waiting longer to get married, if they choose to marry at all. The mean age in OECD countries at first time marriage rose by 5 years since 1990 to 32 years for men and 30 years for women. Ireland and Spain are among the countries with the largest rise in marriage age.
For the first time, more than half the population in the UK and US is set to be using Facebook regularly this year. In the Netherlands the proportion is higher, while fewer than one in three are expected to use the social network in Italy and Japan.
More than one in 10 Irish households have three or more children, double that of the UK. Numerous children are more common in the US than in most European countries, particularly in the south.
This week Matteo Renzi, the 41-year old Italian Prime minister, celebrated his second year in office amid challenges – a troublesome banking sector, the country’s tense relationship with Europe and a weak economic recovery.
But how has Italy changed in the last two years? Read more
The economies of Venezuela, Russia and Brazil are forecast to contract this year. In the case of Caracas, it might face a debt default as well, with its 5-year credit default swap reaching a record high in February.
Commercial crude oil and liquid fuels inventories in the OECD countries totalled 3.03bn barrels per day at the end of 2015, according to US data. That was roughly 66 days of consumption. A year before, they were equivalent to less than 60 days
Over 3m people in the US quit their jobs in December last year, the highest since 2006 and double that in August 2009. The number reflects the degree of optimism as people are more likely to leave a job voluntarily if they think they can do better elsewhere
Fewer than two in three primary school teachers are female in the world, but the proportion is much higher in rich countries. The profession is more equally split in Indonesia and China, while in sub-Saharan Africa male teachers are the majority.
Spain’s two main parties won more than 80 per cent of seats in every poll since 1982 except the last one, when they won 61 per cent. Ciudadanos and Podemos gained nearly one one in three seats, breaking the tw0-party grip.
Low oil prices are bad news for oil producing countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as for oil companies and their workers, but it is good news for consumers, energy-intense companies and energy-importing countries. Read more
One in five people in the EU cite security fears as reasons not to order or buy goods and services online, a smaller share than in 2010. The share is higher in Italy and Spain, while online shopping is seen as safer in Germany and the UK.
Same-sex marriage is legal in almost half of OECD countries. The Netherlands was first to introduce it in 2001. The number of countries allowing it rose the most last year when Ireland, the US and Greenland joined in.