If the World Were A Village

(extracted from David Smith's book by the same name; ©2002; Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press)

This is a wonderful children's book, portions of which have circled the internet. Mr. Smith reduces the world's 6 billion people down to a manageable (for visualization purposes) 100. He then describes many characteristics of the people in that imaginary village of 100 people, replicating the proportions of those qualities of the 6 billion. When times are hard, getting a bit of perspective can raise one's spirits...

Of the 100 people in our imaginary global village...

61 are from Asia; 13 from Africa; 12 from Europe; 8 from South America, Central America AND the Caribbean; 5 are from Canada AND the U.S.; 1 is from Oceania (Australia/New Zealand/etc).

22 speak Chinese. Only 9 speak English.

70 are aged 39 and younger; only 4 are 70 or older.

There are 38 school-aged villagers (aged 5 to 24), but only 31 attend school. How many teachers do they have? One.

71 of the people old enough to read can read a little bit (most of them are males). 17 cannot read at all.

If all the money in the village were divided equally, each person would have....$6,200.00 per year. Of course, that isn't the case. The average person on earth makes $3.00 a month.

24 people have no electricity. About that number have no fresh water. 40 have no sanitation.

7 people have computers; only 14 people have any form of telephone. 42 have radios and 24 have televisions (considerable overlap here), which means that most people have limited or no means of communication with, or information about, the rest of the world.

In the year 1900, 32 people lived in the village.

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