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Reduce 7 billion people to 100 people to depict our world

When Mr O Jnr 2 (he of the recent major bone surgery) was whinging about my internet restrictions he stated, categorically, that “everyone” else in the world had the internet – all seven billion people, according to him.

Remembering the 100 People: A World Portrait I had read longer ago than I thought, I reminded him if the world was 100 people, only ONE would own a computer.

As we get older, time flies! I thought I should check my memory. I found we have moved on since I originally read those statistics. Now twenty-two people own or share a computer. This is not a directly comparable statistic, sadly, but it is indicative of the increase in the use of technology over the twenty-two years from 1990 to 2012. The shift in college education since 2006 has been from one to seven, according to 100People.org.

I was interested to see what other attributes of the human species had shifted during that time.

Education, Literacy, Homelessness

I find it interesting that while it appears computer access/ownership has increased radically, as has college education, illiteracy has also increased. Does this indicate an increasing number of “have nots” compared to the “haves”? I looked at the figures relating to the distribution of global wealth recently: 80 of the richest control as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest.

Although forty-eight would live on less than US$2 a day, seventy-eight would have electricity (although reliability of supply is questionable in many places) and seventy-five would be mobile phone users. In some countries the mobile phone networks are more reliable and widespread than wired networks. Sixteen would have no toilets.

The 100 People Portrait also shows shifts where the population is growing fastest and where it is slowing.

Broad Ethnic Categories

The data sources for the 100 People: A World Portrait are given on the organisation’s web site for readers who would like to delve deeper.

I find the concept of depicting the population of the world in a manageable number which is also effectively on a percentage basis is a great way to educate children about how lucky we really are in countries like Australia and New Zealand. I am disappointed that only three schools in Australia have signed up to the 100 People initiative.

Oh, to answer Mr O Jnr 2’s wild assertion: if the world population was one hundred people, thirty would be active internet users. My restrictions stay!

One comment on “Reduce 7 billion people to 100 people to depict our world

  1. […] Improving educational opportunities, especially for women, would assist greatly. The latest 100 People project statistics shows only seven percent of the seven billion people have a college […]


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