Embarrassingly Old Work: Shorts: Global Village – From 2002

There are now more than 6 billion people in the world. But if we could shrink that down to a village of exactly 100, while keeping all of the current ratios in tact, here’s what you’d have:
-54 would be Asian. 16 of those people would live in India, while 21 of them would live in China. 8 people would live in Europe. 5 people would live in America.
-52 would be female. 48 would be male.
-The 13 people in America and Europe would live until they were 77. The other 87 people would probably die by age 59.
-33 people would be Christian. 67 people would not.
-Of the 67 Non-Christians, 41 would call themselves part of Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. One would be Jewish.
-15 people would not affiliate with any religion. But 96 people would believe in some form of God.
-1 person would be about to die. 2 more of the villagers would have just been born. In 50 years, the village would grow to 150 people.
-There would be 16 teenagers. Only 1 of them would live in North America.
-6 people would be senior citizens. All 6 would live in America or Europe.
-14 of the adults would be illiterate. 15 of them would be out of work.
-The village would earn $570,900 a year. $143,368 of that would go to the eight Europeans. $136,665 of that would go to the five Americans. The remaining $290,867 would be split amongst the other 87 people. Each of them would take home an average salary of $3,343.
-All 5 people in the United States would own at least one TV. Two of them would have two TVs. The other three would own more.
-34 of the women would be married. 31 of the men would be, too.
-Of the five people in the United States, four of them would be using some form of birth control. Of the 16 people in India, six of them would do the same.
-Only 6 of the people would speak English, and only four of them would live in America. The fifth person living in America would probably speak Spanish.
-Only two of the eight people in Europe would live in urban areas. Of the eight people in Latin America, only two would NOT live in urban areas.
-No one would have time to forward e-mails, considering the tremendous amount of work that would need to get done by just 100 people.

The Story:
In mid June of 2002, my friend Cathy showed me an article about a guy who had forwarded an e-mail regarding world population statistics. Stanford professor Phillip Harter had his name accidentally tacked to a concept of a 100-person global village. The story was fascinating, but most of the statistics, especially the literacy numbers, were incorrect. I started thinking about checking into the numbers, since I research magazine stories for a living. So I checked, and the above is what I found. The statistics are gleaned from world censuses, and I can not guarantee their validity anymore than the census bureaus can. I just thought that some other people might be as interested as I was to learn the real numbers.

If you’d like to see the original story and numbers, go to:

For more on world statistics, try:

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