Tuesday, August 11, 2009

World Population: putting the numbers in perspective

A good friend of mine sent me some statistics that were compiled as part of a study by the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. The numbers put our world population in a somewhat easier perspective so that we can contemplate many of the social issues facing mankind.

But it also struck me as to how these numbers highlight the importance of how we manage or natural resources - from water to agriculture/aquaculture to fossil fuels and the resulting CO2 damage. And it points to that 800-pound gorilla in the room: our growing worldwide population that is expected to add another 3 billion people in only the next 30 to 40 years.

If the World were 100 PEOPLE:
50 would be female
50 would be male

20 would be children
There would be 80 adults,
14 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:
61 Asians
12 Europeans
13 Africans
14 people from the Western Hemisphere

There would be:
31 Christians
21 Muslims
14 Hindus
6 Buddhists
12 people who believe in other religions
16 people who not be aligned with a religion

17 would speak Chinese
8 would speak Hindustani
8 would speak English
7 would speak Spanish
4 would speak Arabic
4 would speak Russian
52 would speak other languages

82 would be able to read and write; 18 would not

1 would have a college education
1 would own a computer

75 people would have some supply of food and a place to
shelter them from the wind and the rain, but 25 would not

1 would be dying of starvation
17 would be undernourished
15 would be overweight

83 would have access to safe drinking water
17 people would have no clean, safe water to drink

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