Visualizing the Smoking Population of Countries
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Visualizing The Smoking Population of Countries

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smoking population breakdown of female vs male smokers worldwide

Visualizing The Smoking Population of Countries

According to Our World in Data, about one-in-four adults around the world smoke tobacco—at least on an occasional basis. And in many countries, a majority of these smokers are men.

But just how big is the smoking gender gap, and which places have the biggest divide between men and women when it comes to smoking? This graphic by Pablo Alvarez visualizes the smoking population breakdown across the globe.

About the Dataset

The dataset is compiled by Our World in Data and uses the latest available figures (2020) that’ve been pulled from the World Bank. The data includes men and women aged 15 and over, and focuses on the world’s top 50 most populous countries.

It’s also worth highlighting that, for the purposes of this study, a smoker is defined as someone who smokes any form of tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) and includes people who smoke on a daily, non-daily, and occasional basis.

The Breakdown of Men versus Women Smokers

According to the figures in the dataset, countries in Asia and Africa seem to have the biggest gender gap when it comes to smoking.

For instance, 71% of Indonesian men smoke, while only 4% of Indonesian women use tobacco. And in China, nearly half of men are smokers, while only 2% of women smoke.

Country% of women who smoke% of men who smoke
🇮🇩 Indonesia4%71%
🇲🇲 Myanmar20%68%
🇧🇩 Bangladesh17%52%
🇨🇳 China2%49%
🇳🇷 Nauru49%47%
🇳🇵Nepal13%48%
🇪🇬 Egypt0%48%
🇻🇳 Vietnam2%47%
🇲🇾 Malaysia1%44%
🇲🇬 Madagascar13%43%
🇹🇷 Turkey19%42%
🇹🇭 Thailand3%41%
🇷🇺 Russia13%41%
🇮🇳 India13%41%
🇩🇿 Algeria1%41%
🇺🇦 Ukraine12%40%
🇵🇭 Philippines6%39%
🇦🇫 Afghanistan7%39%
🇰🇷 South Korea6%36%
🇮🇶 Iraq2%35%
🇫🇷 France32%35%
🇿🇦 South Africa6%34%
🇵🇰 Pakistan7%33%
🇾🇪 Yemen8%32%
🇯🇵 Japan10%30%
🇪🇸 Spain27%29%
🇦🇷Argentina20%29%
🇺🇸 U.S.18%28%
🇵🇱 Poland20%28%
🇲🇦 Morocco1%28%
🇮🇹 Italy20%27%
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia2%26%
🇮🇷 Iran3%24%
🇩🇪 Germany20%24%
🇲🇿 Mozambique6%23%
🇨🇩 DR Congo3%23%
🇲🇽 Mexico6%20%
🇰🇪 Kenya3%20%
🇨🇮 Cote d'Ivoire1%18%
🇬🇧 UK14%17%
🇧🇷 Brazil9%16%
🇨🇦 Canada11%15%
🇹🇿 Tanzania3%14%
🇺🇬 Uganda4%13%
🇵🇪 Peru3%13%
🇨🇲 Cameroon1%13%
🇮🇸 Iceland12%11%
🇨🇴 Colombia5%12%
🇪🇹 Ethiopia1%9%
🇳🇬 Nigeria0%7%
🇬🇭 Ghana0%7%

In fact, nearly all the countries included in the study have more male smokers than women—However, there are a few outliers.

For example, in the small Micronesian island of Nauru, a slightly higher percentage of women smoke than men. And in Iceland, there’s a similar trend—12% of women smoke compared to 11% of men.

Despite these few anomalies, the general consensus is that men tend to smoke more than women. And according to Our World in Data, this male-bias can be seen in health statistics. For instance, research by the World Health Organization has found that men are more likely to die from lung cancer.

The Knock-on Effects of Smoking

As many people are now aware of, smoking can lead to major health problems. In fact, it’s estimated that about 15% of deaths around the world are linked to smoking—Either directly, or from second-hand smoke.

Over the last two decades, knowledge around the dangers of smoking has become more widespread, and changes to legislation has forced cigarette companies to put health warnings on their packaging.

And as discourse around smoking and its health-risks has started to circulate more rapidly, the number of smokers worldwide has started to decrease. Here’s a chart showing the drop in smokers in select countries, from 2000 to 2020:

Will the smoking population continue to drop in the next few decades, or have we reached a plateau?

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Charted: Tesla’s Unrivaled Profit Margins

This infographic compares Tesla’s impressive profit margins to various Western and Chinese competitors.

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Chart: Tesla’s Unrivaled Profit Margins

In January this year, Tesla made the surprising announcement that it would be cutting prices on its vehicles by as much as 20%.

While price cuts are not new in the automotive world, they are for Tesla. The company, which historically has been unable to keep up with demand, has seen its order backlog shrink from 476,000 units in July 2022, to 74,000 in December 2022.

This has been attributed to Tesla’s robust production growth, which saw 2022 production increase 41% over 2021 (from 930,422 to 1,313,851 units).

With the days of “endless” demand seemingly over, Tesla is going on the offensive by reducing its prices—a move that puts pressure on competitors, but has also angered existing owners.

Cranking up the Heat

Tesla’s price cuts are an attempt to protect its market share, but they’re not exactly the desperation move some media outlets have claimed them to be.

Recent data compiled by Reuters shows that Tesla’s margins are significantly higher than those of its rivals, both in terms of gross and net profit. Our graphic only illustrates the net figures, but gross profits are also included in the table below.

CompanyGross profit per carNet profit per car
🇺🇸 Tesla$15,653$9,574
🇺🇸 GM$3,818$2,150
🇨🇳 BYD$5,456$1,550
🇯🇵 Toyota$3,925$1,197
🇩🇪 VW$6,034$973
🇰🇷 Hyundai$5,362$927
🇺🇸 Ford$3,115-$762
🇨🇳 Xpeng$4,565-$11,735
🇨🇳 Nio$8,036-$19,141

Data from Q3 2022

Price cutting has its drawbacks, but one could argue that the benefits for Tesla are worth it based on this data—especially in a critical market like China.

Tesla has taken the nuclear option to bully the weaker, thin margin players off the table.
– Bill Russo, Automobility

In the case of Chinese EV startups Xpeng and Nio, net profits are non-existent, meaning it’s unlikely they’ll be able to match Tesla’s reductions in price. Both firms have reported year-on-year sales declines in January.

As for Tesla, Chinese media outlets have claimed that the firm received 30,000 orders within three days of its price cut announcement. Note that this hasn’t been officially confirmed by anyone within the company.

Tit for Tat

Ford made headlines recently for announcing its own price cuts on the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. The model is a direct competitor to Tesla’s best-selling Model Y.

Chevrolet and Hyundai have also adjusted some of their EV prices in recent months, as listed in the following table.

ModelOld PriceNew PriceDiscount
Tesla Model Y Long Range$65,990$53,49018.9%
Chevrolet Bolt EUV 2023$33,500$27,20018.8%
Tesla Model Y Performance$69,990$56,99018.6%
Chevrolet Bolt 2023$31,600$26,50016.1%
Tesla Model 3 Performance$62,990$53,99014.3%
Hyundai Kona Electric 2022$37,390$34,0009.1%
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Extended Range$69,900$64,0008.4%
Tesla Model 3 Long Range$46,990$43,9906.4%
Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD$57,675$53,9956.4%
Ford Mustang Mach-E RWD Standard Range$46,900$46,0001.9%

Source: Observer (Feb 2023)

Volkswagen is a noteworthy player missing from this table. The company has been gaining ground on Tesla, especially in the European market.

We have a clear pricing strategy and are focusing on reliability. We trust in the strength of our products and brands.
– Oliver Blume, CEO, VW Group

This decision could hamper Volkswagen’s goal of becoming a dominant player in EVs, especially if more automakers join Tesla in cutting prices. For now, Tesla still holds a strong grip on the US market.

tesla US market share

Thanks, Elon

Recent Tesla buyers became outraged when the company announced it would be slashing prices on its cars. In China, buyers even staged protests at Tesla stores and delivery centers.

Recent buyers not only missed out on a better price, but their cars have effectively depreciated by the amount of the cut. This is a bitter turn of events, given Musk’s 2019 claims that a Tesla would be an appreciating asset.

I think the most profound thing is that if you buy a Tesla today, I believe you are buying an appreciating asset – not a depreciating asset.
– Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla

These comments were made in reference to Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) capabilities, which Elon claimed would enable owners to turn their cars into robotaxis.

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