Plastic Surgery Statistics

While browsing charts and graphs about property bubbles and purchasing power parity, I came across this chart in The Economist which shows how much plastic surgery is performed in the following countries.

plastic surgery chartThere is a lot to be said about this from a statistical viewpoint, especially that the results may be distorted by medical tourism (for example from China to South Korea, to take two of the more extreme examples on the chart). Also, the graphic depiction of the chart is somewhat misleading because the values on the top scale are only per mille values. The 986 to 999 people in a thousand who don’t get any plastic surgery are not shown, so the graphic overemphasizes the difference between the listed countries.

Taking that into consideration, I was surprised by the top three: South Korea, Greece and Italy (although I wonder where Italy would end up without Mr Berlusconi’s many operations). Europeans would not expect Greeks to spend that much money on plastic surgery while there is allegedly not enough money in the country’s medical system to buy medicine. But then again, it’s just a few out of a thousand and maybe Greek tax-dodging millionaires are getting plastic surgery to escape arrest or revolutionary crowds.

I was not at all surprised to find the USA, Colombia and Brazil high on the list. Not that I am that closely inspecting all of the Brazilian women whom I meet, but from the ones I have met, I suspect there are more fake boobs than footballs in Brazil. And in Colombia it’s even government policy to make people lazy and fat, which they then apparently have to counter by plastic surgery.

The interesting question is whether the women in the countries with a lot of plastic surgery are now more beautiful, or if the ones in the countries without much plastic surgery were already more beautiful to begin with and therefore didn’t see any need for plastic surgery. Let’s have a look at representatives of the top three and the bottom three countries:

I would say that my personal chart is the exact reversal of the above one.

Probably, the numbers say much more about the self-confidence than about the beauty of the citizens of the listed countries. – I’ll rather stick to the countries with less plastic surgery, if only for the personality of their people.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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18 Responses to Plastic Surgery Statistics

  1. anbrooks2013 says:

    South Korea was surprising. How come people can not just accept the way they are?

  2. Nadezhda Konovalova says:

    Korea must be on the top because of their obsession with double eyelids.

  3. RADIUS says:

    The Iranian gouvernment is most likely hiding the numbers of “nose jobs” done either by surgeons in the the country or to Iranian woman traveling abroad for this.

  4. RADIUS says:

    By the way, there is a (largely unknown) catch-22 regarding to plastic surgery. In the long term, in fact, it will prevent the natural selection against “undesirable” physical attributes. So what it seems to achieve in the short term to the silly patient him-/herself, it will do the exact opposite in the following generations. Plastic surgery is virtually sabotaging what otherwise is known as eugenics. To understand this, read my blog-post here

  5. Andres says:

    As a reader said before, I guess South Korea is so high, not because of mammary implants, but because of the desire of many South Korean women to have more “western looking” eyes

  6. german by blood says:

    Whats the price break down and where is the cheapest?

  7. quasimatta says:

    Perhaps fragile personalities in those top three countries undergo surgery precisely because of the lame remarks and stereotyped images such as those shown in the photos you selected, rather than demonstrating maturity and respect for the opposite sex, beyond the visual one imposed by (mainly American/European) male perspectives.

  8. Hannah says:

    I don`t like Happy Hermit

  9. Kelly wilson says:

    But the person who want to look attractive among the friends and family fellow member they does not look the cost of the of the plastic surgery but they look themselves attractive in the mirror after plastic surgery

  10. Aimilia says:

    Because only rich people do plastic surgery in Greece and i know very well that also people do a lot of botox !!! And it very different in Greece from that you see in tv and that you thought!!!

  11. Rajat Gupta says:

    It is really helpfull blog and nice written very good graph use in this informative blog well done no doubt…visit us also for similar kind of post… Rajat Gupta is a expert docter in cosmetic and plastic surgery field & providing services in cosmatic and sergery plant etc.

    Dr. Rajat Gupta also has the prestigious memberships of:-

    1. Member Association of Plastic surgeons of India (A.P.S.I.)
    2. International Society for Burn Injuries (I.S.B.I)
    3. National Acadmy of Burn India(N.A.B.I.)

    Dr. Rajat Gupta

    MBBS, MS (Gen Surgery), DNB (Plastic Surgery), MNAMS
    Visitor Scholar : Dept. of Reconstructive Microsurgery
    Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
    Consultant: Rockland Hospital
    Consultant: Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh
    Consultant: Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh
    Consultant : RLKC and Metro Heart Institute

    Clinic: 24, Central Market , Ashok Vihar, Delhi – 54
    Res: B.D. 10; Vishakha Enclave, Pitam Pura,Delhi -88
    Tel: +91–9968326300,+91–9013756544

  12. ThisIsStupid says:

    This is the worst blog post I’ve ever read…and that’s saying something when you consider the vastness stretches of stupidity on display throughout the interwebs. Those pictures you carefully selected at the bottom of the post? Oh, I see- it makes perfect sense to compare a country’s supermodels and beauty queens against the old women of another nation. *eye roll*

  13. ebencipe says:

    The best surgeons to achieve a beautiful asian face (but still remain asian looking) is in S. Korea.. So far, the baby doll kpop look is being adored esp here in the Philippines…

  14. Alex Choi says:

    very fair “representatives” of the average woman from each country you have there


  15. Yep, always knew this about South Korea. Definitely interesting stuff.

  16. Eugenia says:

    It is extremely funny, how you try to act like a sensitive and ethical intellectual. Your real life attitude towards women is shallow, hierarchical, look-focussed, insensitive and extremely macho-like. You don’t to value the woman as a unique person and subtly dehumanize her.

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