self portrait
My name is Mark Rice. I am the Chair of American Studies at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. I’m the author of Through the Lens of the City: NEA Photography Surveys of the 1970s (UP of Mississippi, 2005), and several scholarly articles, the most recent of which is “Dean Worcester’s Photographs, American National Identity, and National Geographic Magazine,” Australasian Journal of American Studies 31:2 (2012). This article is based on a book I have forthcoming about the photography of Dean Worcester.

Update (July 21, 2014): My book on the photography of Dean Worcester, titled, Dean Worcester’s Fantasy Islands: Photography, Film, and the Colonial Philippines, is now available.

Ranking America is a site for finding information about how the U.S. compares to other countries in a variety of categories. I make every effort to report the data accurately, and I welcome anyone pointing out whatever inadvertent mistakes I may make.

Ranking America is also an exercise in absurdism, and I hope that some users of the site appreciate that side of it.


  1. artandhistory
    28 January 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Excellent. I look forward to your posts.

  2. deborah
    2 March 2009 at 9:58 pm

    i would love to know how American studies programs are ranked.

  3. 28 March 2009 at 6:32 am

    I love your site. Keep it up !

  4. Kay
    30 March 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve been looking to find a recent ranking of where the US stands in funding the arts. Any ideas?

  5. Mark
    30 March 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I’ll post a ranking on this topic soon!

  6. wil
    20 April 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Dear Mark –

    This is probably the most important website I have seen in the last few years…. I have been collecting info and US ratings for family and friends for the last three years trying to ask the question “are you ok with this” to help them make better decisions about the people they vote for on all levels.

    This is the question all the news organizations and politicians are not asking….education statistics, consumption, infant mortality, environmental commitment,
    social mindfulness…… the hardest thing I found was to evaluate the people or organizations making the rankings, especially in softer issues.

    I would like to talk to you further about where you should go with this. If ever there was a need for a wider channel, you and this information are it.

    Thank you Wil Johnson

  7. Franco Campari
    29 October 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Mark and congrats on your site.

    One ranking many people here will not like for sure is on AUTISM the epidemic cretaed to favor Pharmaceutical gangs?

    Hope you can help us all with some of your valuable research.

  8. karlaussia
    23 November 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Mark – great idea and a lot of work, well done.

    I am undertaking an MA in Arts Policy and Managment in the UK.

    For one of my essays I need to compare the policy approaches of 3 different countries. i thought it might be interesting to look at the UK, USA and Russia pre-and post WW2 because they are also so very different, and partly because the UK Arts Council model grew out of a wartime policy to protect our art but also make culture accesible during wartime.

    I am looking at some basic comparisons on this site http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/index.php but unfortunately the USA is not yet included. I wondered if you might know where I could get similar information listed under each country flag?

    Thanks for considering this.

    alll the best.


  9. Mark
    29 November 2009 at 7:57 am


    I don’t know if there is a single source for the information you’re interested in obtaining. Maybe another reader can help?

  10. Ezinda
    13 January 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Great site. It would be really useful if you could offer an RSS feed.

  11. Mark
    13 January 2010 at 1:39 pm

    You got it!

  12. 20 February 2010 at 12:36 pm

    are there figures on total imports and exports. where does us stand on total imports and exports against world countries. who imports most and who exports most? r larue

  13. Mark
    20 February 2010 at 12:54 pm

    The EU is the largest in both categories. In terms of single countries, the U.S. is the largest importer, and China is the largest exporter, followed by Germany and then the United States. You can find this data in the CIA World Factbook.

  14. Judith
    31 March 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I chanced upon your site while trying to locate some data on year-over-year real estate values in our fair city. I recall reading somewhere that Rochester values stayed steady or even increased relative to other US cities in recent years.

    Does this sound familiar to you? Can you point me in the right direction for references?

    Thanks—yours is an interesting site for sure. Well done!

  15. Mark
    1 April 2010 at 8:31 am

    Zillow.com has such data.

  16. JL
    8 March 2012 at 10:38 am

    I like your website and all the data you collected must be a lot of work to do! Thank you!

  17. Mark
    8 March 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you!

  18. john gordon
    19 October 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I really like your site.

    Consider adding rankings for U.S. states and/or U.S. regions. For example, how does Mississippi’s, Vermont’s and Oregon’s child mortality level rank among U.S. states and other countries? U.S. averages can be very deceptive considering most countries are much small and much, much more homogenous (nordic countries). Comparing U.S. states to other countries, especially by population, would tell a fuller story.

    I suspect removing screening out data from old southern U.S. states would greatly improve U.S. rankings in numerous categories. But maybe I’m wrong.

  19. Mark
    20 October 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks. I’ve thought about it and I agree that it would be useful. However, this is purely a sideline hobby of mine and I decided I could really devote the necessary time to gather the data that you suggest.

  20. 21 October 2012 at 10:55 am

    I came here from the NYTimes article. I thought this quote of yours was brilliant and reminds of a great lecturer I had while studying.
    “I try to be as accurate as I can and I avoid editorializing. I try to complicate their thinking.”
    As any good teacher should.

    Great site and great philsophy. Well done.

  21. Mark
    21 October 2012 at 11:35 am

    Thank you.

  22. 21 October 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I teach public speaking to (mostly) freshmen at a large public university and for years have used these types of data to prod students to ask questions, cast their net wider as they seek topics, and to challenge their ‘knowledge’ of the U.S. Thanks for aggregating and for including the charts and graphs!!

  23. Mark
    21 October 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the note. It makes me happy that you’ll be able to make use of my work.

  24. Clint Grimes
    21 October 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Sir, please continue with your ranking work, put the other things aside. This is very important to the US and not just in an election year. There is also a very important book here that can have serial publications. Clint Grimes

  25. Tom Goodale
    22 October 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Mark: This is my first time visiting your site. As a old Prof. (Emeritus now, From Geo. Mason) I value it highly. Having taught research methods, finding international comparative data were among my assignments, intended to challenge beliefs and opinions, especially the self-adulation of “We’re #1,” and claims of “American exceptionalism.”

    That said, I have one question/concern. Re: the child poverty data, noting that the US is #2 seems to me backwards, as I think of the lowest rate as being most positive, i.e. #1 or best. So to me, the US ranks 34th of 35 countries, Romania being 35th, not 1st. Thus the US is second worst, unless you think child poverty is a good thing – and I’m sure you don’t. We are number 1 in children killed by guns. But fewer is better, as with children living in poverty.

    Conversely, that the US ranks 51st on erect penis size is something that should be taught in business (and law and medical)? schools, since so many CEOs and bankers/financiers seem to think they have the biggest “package” in whatever room or arena or game they are competing.

  26. Mark
    22 October 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I know what you mean about the ordering of the rankings, and it is something I’ve struggled with. To my mind, I guess I wasn’t going with “better” or “worse” as much as I was going with “greater” or “lesser.”

  27. Angie
    24 October 2012 at 6:55 pm

    great work! keep it up!

  28. Mark
    24 October 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you.

  29. Mike Riley
    19 December 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Do you know where I can go to find historical charts of the changes in America’s ranking over various periods of time, in various categories?

  30. Mark
    20 December 2012 at 9:46 am

    If you give me some specific categories, I might be able to help you out.

  31. 8 February 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Would love to see categories related to military discrimination complaints, minority health & financial facts, and general minority facts-statistics. We enjoy what you have provided and hope to see it expand. Thank you!

  32. Anonymous
    12 February 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Mark I do have a question for you. What is the difference between “The U.S. ranks 43rd in homicide” and “The U.S. ranks 1st in death by violence” It’s death by violence a homicide?

  33. 1 May 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Hi Mark, I started a similar site in late 2011 with a similar goal. It is at http://www.nationalassessmentday.com. Contact me if you think we can work together in some way.

  34. Al
    8 May 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Great site! Will you be expanding into ranking the individual States? I’ve been thinking about doing that for several years but I think you could do a much better job of it. If not, do you know of another site that consolidates state rankings?

  35. Mark
    11 May 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve thought about a state rankings site, but just don’t have the time. I haven’t come across such a site, but I bet one exists out there somewhere.

  36. Jeff Bailey
  37. 16 September 2013 at 4:31 am

    Hey. Here is some interesting info on solar power generation. US ranks #20.

  38. Barbara Sinnett
    19 September 2013 at 8:30 am

    Hi Mark, Great site. I have some ideas about how sizing up the US could change people’s mind about affordable housing and homelessness in the US, however, I could not locate these topics. Did I miss them? I work for a state agency in California and as you know, New York and California have some real issues here that create other problems for us related to educational attainment (access to good schools and the cost of housing impacts our ability to become educated) and other opportunity costs of the high cost of housing. Any suggestions for obtaining how we rate globally in these two categories? Barbara

  39. Mark
    27 September 2013 at 11:35 am

    Barbara: I don’t know where to find those rankings. If you manage to find them, let me know and I’ll post them!

  40. 19 January 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Mark, could I use your blog as the “News” link on http://www.nationalassessmentday.com/ ? I currently have it pointed at my own blog but I don’t update my blog often, and most posts have just been reposts of yours.

  41. Mark
    20 January 2014 at 7:02 pm

    That would be fine. Thanks for asking before going ahead and doing so.

  42. John
    27 March 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Really enjoy both your mainstream and “out there” analyses. Some confirm and others challenge the usually held beliefs (or prejudices).
    I’m a student of medical care issues and I recently saw a plot of the level of “social support” offerred by various nations. The US was profoundly different than the majority of countries. I would be interested in your take on this idea of “social support”.

  43. Moe
    24 June 2014 at 11:10 am

    Mark – I’ve been trying to drop a comment this morning but it’s just not happening. Is there a reason? FYI anyway.

  44. Mark
    24 June 2014 at 11:29 am

    I have to approve comments in order for them to appear.

  45. Moe
    24 June 2014 at 11:37 am

    Ahem, I meant a comment on the front page, not here (where it went right through)

  1. 11 January 2013 at 1:24 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: