Friday, February 8

By now, we’ve certainly all heard some form of the saying, “The richest industrialized countries contain X percent of global population, but consume Y percent of the world’s resources” (where Y is significantly greater than X). Well, whether you believed it, or simply thought it a cliché of environmental extremists, the latest UNFPA report on The State of World Population 2001 gives the real numbers:

A huge "consumption gap" exists between industrialized and developing countries. The world's richest countries, with 20 per cent of global population, account for 86 per cent of total private consumption, whereas the poorest 20 per cent of the world's people account for just 1.3 per cent.

Do yourself a favor and look over this report. It’s quite long, but the Overview is very manageable and gives a good summary of many of the findings.

It’s times like this that I’m unendingly thankful for the Internet (in fact I’m so happy that I spelled it with a capital “I” this time). How many world citizens are too poor to have access to this report?