Academic Writing Sample Task 1 #7

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows social and economic indicators for four countries in 1994, according to United Nations statistics.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

 Indicators Canada Japan Peru Zaire
 Annual income per person (in $US) 11100 15760 160 130
 Life expectancy at birth 76 78 51 47
 Daily calorie supply per person 3326 2846 1927 1749
 Adult literacy rate (%) 99 99 68 34

Model answer

A glance at four indicators of economic and social conditions in four countries, Canada, Japan, Peru and Zaire, in 1994 reflects the great differences that exist between wealthier and poorer nations.

The table shows that Japan and Canada had annual incomes of $15 760 and $11 100 per person, respectively. These figures were overwhelmingly greater than the corresponding figures of $160 in Peru and $130 in Zaire.

Health indicators, too, reflected overall levels of affluence in the four nations. Life expectancy at birth, for example, was higher among the more economically developed countries. Japan reported the highest life expectancy, 78. This was followed by Canada, 76; Peru, 51; and Zaire, 47. This suggests that richer societies are able to put more money into health care than poorer ones.

The amount of calories consumed daily per person roughly followed the same ranking. Canadians each consumed some 3 326 calories per day while the Japanese took 2846 calories. The corresponding figures for Peru and Zaire were 1927 and 1749, respectively.

Literacy rates among adults, too, were higher in wealthier countries, no doubt a reflection of ability to invest in education. Canada and Japan both reported literacy rates of 99%, while Peru claimed 68%. Zaire, the least economically developed of the four countries, had a literacy rate of 34%.

The data appear to confirm the often cited link between national wealth and health and education standards.


Make sure you understand the following in a table:

1) the main heading/title of the table
2) the column heading/categories and exactly what these show

Look for the most important information in the table by comparing categories and groups. Notice any similarities, any differences, any obvious changes and/or trends.

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