Friday, February 09, 2007

The Global Church

I am totally stealing this from my friend Steve's blog, but it is well worth repeating. If the world was a village of 100 people (source):

If we could reduce the world’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:

The village would have 60 Asians, 14 Africans, 12 Europeans, 8 Latin Americans, 5 from the USA and Canada, and 1 from the South Pacific

51 would be male, 49 would be female

82 would be non-white; 18 white

67 would be non-Christian; 33 would be Christian

80 would live in substandard housing

67 would be unable to read

50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation

33 would be without access to a safe water supply

39 would lack access to improved sanitation

24 would not have any electricity (And of the 76 that do
have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)

7 people would have access to the Internet

1 would have a college education

1 would have HIV

2 would be near birth; 1 near death

5 would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth; all 5 would be US citizens

33 would be receiving --and attempting to live on-- only 3% of the income of “the village”

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2 comments:

Chris Sterritt said...

Hi John!

This is a great post. Pity most of it isn't true (NOT YOUR FAULT!).

Please bookmark www.snopes.com -- it's my favorite site for all those wonderful "TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS!" emails that I get sometimes.

Apropos your post, see This article.

Surprisingly (to me), some people get mad at me for questioning their urban legends, thinking either I'm attacking them (I'm not) or making fun of them (I'm not).

I seem to remember a commandment saying something about "not bearing false witness" that seems appropriate in these cases.

vaught_family said...

Chris, thanks for taking a look at this. At the source from which I copied the information, they have this at the bottom:

The original version of the STATE OF THE VILLAGE REPORT by Donella H. Meadows was published in 1990 as "Who lives in the Global Village?" and updated in 2005. The initial report was based on a village of 1000. David Copeland, a surveyor and environmental activist, revised the report to reflect a village of 100 and single-handedly distributed 50,000 copies of a Value Earth poster at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Research for many of the facts for this 2005 update was done by Donella H. Meadows’ think tank: the Sustainability Institute. (See www.odt.org/pop.htm for further details.) The rest come from a variety of sources including David Smith’s children’s book: If the World Were a Village, the CIA World Factbook 2001 (age, birth, death, internet), 2001 World Development Indicators, World Bank (HIV), Adherents 2001 (religion) Bread for the World (malnourishment), United Nations Population Fund (food security) The Global Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report (improved water, improved sanitation)

Further, I emailed the source and asked them to check it out.

After reading the snopes column, some of the numbers are actually pretty close and some are far off. Some of this could be attributed to ambiguous wording such as "substandard housing". I'll post another comment when I hear back from them.