Monday, January 26, 2009


If the world were a village of only 100 people:
• 80 would live in substandard housing.
• 67 adults live in the village; and half of them would be illiterate.
• 50 would suffer from malnutrition.
• 33 would not have access to clean, safe drinking water.
• 24 people would not have any electricity.
• Of the 76 that do have electricity, most would use it only for light at night.
• In the village would be 42 radios, 24 televisions, 14 telephones, and 7 computers (some villagers own more than one of each).
• 7 people would own an automobile (some of them more than one).
• 5 people would possess 32% of the entire village’s wealth, and these would all be from the USA.
• The poorest one-third of the people would receive only 3% of the income of the village.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If
you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish,
you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the
world who has that opportunity.

The “State of the Village Report,” originally published by Dartmouth professor Donella Meadows in 1990, was used to calculate the statistics which many of us have seen in the form of an email titled "Village of 100." If the world’s population were reduced to 100 people, what would our global village look like? Since 1990, Ms. Meadows’ research has been circulated through millions of email inboxes and shared in thousands of classrooms, mine included. The updated version published by the Miniature Earth Project includes recent population statistics from the UN and the Population Reference Bureau.