Educational toy of the day is the gapminder. Worth spending some time with the animated national deveolpement from 1950 to 2005 in the two axes of life expectancy and income per person.
For instance, while countries like Japan and Norway sport steady, linear development, Argentina has a zig-zag pattern in tune with the extreme boom and (more likely) bust nature of that economy.
My destination of today, the Baltics, display a circular movement as they struggled to cope with the transition to capitalist economies in the 90s.
And interestingly the awakening bear, Russia, is probably one of very few countries north of the equator with a negative development in life expectancy! Easy on the vodka consumption, Mr Putin.