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Finland 1, Colorado 0

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This intriguing map from Strange Maps correlates the GDPs of various U.S. states with those of similarly productive foreign countries. Our home state matches up with Finland, which leads to some interesting comparisons. We here in Colorado are used to hearing about our inability to fund higher ed, health care and infrastructure while remaining attractive to business. If that’s true, Finland must be falling apart at the seams, since it has to manage all that plus stuff like national defense that Colorado needn’t concern itself with.

Luckily for the Finns, that’s not the case. Despite having a slightly larger population than our fair state (4.8 million Coloradoans, 5.3 million Finns), Finland ranks among the top nations in the world in terms of health care, education and infrastructure. It holds the number two spot in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

Meanwhile, the most famous innovation to appear out of Finland is Linux, the free, open-source operating system that’s helped revolutionize computing. The most famous Colorado innovation of recent years? Those god-awful ugly Crocs, hideous shoes revolutionizing the way people appear stupid in public.

We could learn a thing or two from the Finns, it appears. -- Cory Casciato

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