Sunday, March 6, 2011

The World of Seven Billion

A few weeks ago I participated in an economic summit hosted by New Dominion Bank in Charlotte. During one of the presentations on the global economy, the presenter referenced the following video:


I was reminded of this video by the poster in the March issue of National Geographic. A previous post referenced the striking composite image on one side of the poster.

The reverse side of the poster takes a closer look - through statistics - of where and how our seven billion neighbors live. Through four broad ranges of income level, it graphically depicts 16 "measurements" of world population.

When the Earth's population hits seven billion later this year, the percentage of people with a decent standard of living will be higher than it has ever been before. While inequality still abounds, the gap between the world's poorest and richest is now filled by a broad middle-income group that scarcely existed on a global  scale 50 years ago. More children live to be adults, and fewer adults die of preventable disease.

A few of the more notable highlights:
  • Population - most future population growth will happen in the less developed countries, where birthrates remain highest
  • Life expectancy at birth - improved health care and nutrition have raised life expectancy from a global average of 52 years in 1960 to 69 years today
  • Deaths under age 5 - worldwide improvement continues in preventing deaths of children; since 1960 it has fallen by more than half
If you don't have access to National Geographic, head to the nearest library and take a look at it.

Your future depends on how you understand our global neighbors.

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