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Believe it or not, McDonald's isn't everywhere

Posting in Food

While walking through Chicago's O'Hare Airport yesterday I walked past a McDonald's, a convenience shop, a tourist store, a sit-down restaurant, and then another McDonald's. The presence of McDonald's in its home country and globally is well documented. In fact, McDonald's gets about two-thirds of its revenue outside the United States. (They even pay some of their workers well.)

So it might be surprising, for those of us who seem to see it everywhere, that there are actually places in the world without McDonald's.

Prompted by news that Vietnam is getting its first McDonald's, NPR found out that there are still 105 countries without McDonald's, in places like North Korea, Jamaica, Yemen, and Ghana.

Still there are nearly 35,000 McDonald's stores in 119 countries. But the divide has less to do with taste for Big Macs and more to do with economics, Miguel Centeno, a sociologist at Princeton University, told NPR:

"If you want a definition of what the rich world and the poor world are, well, if you can get a McDonald's, you are in the rich world," Centeno told The Salt. "If you look at where these restaurants are located, it doesn't map on to culture; it maps on to money."

Read more: NPR

Photo: Flickr/subbu4

— By on August 5, 2013, 3:11 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure