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Do we live in a Global Village?

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The Global Village

A Summary of the World

Earth as a village of 100 people. 

Almost everybody likes the term Global Village (I.). The term is readily used today especially by writers, broadcasters, politicians and public relation guys, to emphasize the shrinking distances between nations through internet, mobile phones, and cheap flight tickets, as well as the fact that news are traveling with the speed of light around the globe, and they unlikely forget to mention the possibilities of producing and selling "worldwide", speak, making business/money globally.

So, but what does it really look like, our much acclaimed Global Village?

If we could shrink the Earth's population of 7 billion to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this: (have in mind, that each of the villagers represents a population of 70 million, thats more than the whole population of France)

villagers, Berlin
European villagers are having fun at an open air event in Berlin, Germany.

So, let's have a look at our International Community.

First the good news: half of the villagers would be female, the other half would be male.

The village would consist of 61 people from Asia, of whom 19 would be from China, and almost 18 would be Indians (the Gandhi type of Indians, people from India), there are 15 people from Africa, 10 guys from Europe, not quite 9 would be from South America and the Caribbean, and 5 from North America and somewhere among the Americans would be the world's most powerful man, the U.S. president.

Their native language would be:
12 are speaking Mandarin Chinese, 5 would speak Spanish, 5 would speak English, 5 would speak Hindi or Bengali, 3 would speak Arabic, more than 2 speak Portuguese, 2 speak Russian, 2 speak Japanese, and 1 speaks German, the rest of the villagers can choose one or the other of the 6000 languages spoken on the planet.

33 would have a Christian background, 22 an Islamic one, almost 14 are Hindus, there are 7 Buddhists, and 2 are atheists.

26 would be under 14 years old.
8 are 65 years and over.

substandard housing, Lao
Delight -- yes, people live here. This village in South-East Asia might be an example for substandard housing which can be found in many regions around the world in rural and near urban areas. Signs of inadequate housing are: no tap water or no sanitation at all, no or unreliable electricity, no waste collection service, and an unsafe neighborhood. - Image:

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82 would be from less developed countries with an average income of US$ 5,440 in a year, this is the equivalent disposable income of just $15 a day, but 51 of those would live on less than $2 a day.

18 would be from developed countries with an average income of US$ 32,470 in a year, the equivalent disposable income of $90 a day.

51 of our village people live in areas termed “urban”. Would our little village be in a more developed surrounding actually 75 villagers would live in big cities. The number of people living in urban areas has surpassed the population of rural areas approximately in the year 2005.

Half of the entire population on Earth, they all have lost an important connection to the cosmos, because of light pollution in and around large cities, there are only the brightest stars like Deneb, Vega or Altair to be seen, if any. No more milky way, no more real night-sky, no more awe-inspiring perception of the multidimensional aspects of a starry sky. The poor villagers are abandoned with a surrogate of the on and off of lights of houses, enterprises, advertisements, emergency vehicles, traffic lights and TV shows.

60 would live within 100 km (62 miles) of a coastline. About 50 would rely in some manner on coastal and marine habitats for food, building sites, transportation, recreation, and waste disposal.

65 would live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. (Source: WHO)

Half of the villagers would distrust their government (III.)
No wonder, that the governments mistrust their people.

nun at a well
A Buddhist nun at a well in a rural area in Burma (Myanmar), the water is also used as drinking water.

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40 would lack access to basic sanitation and 13 would lack access to safe drinking water.

The village's population would use 77 mobile phones, but they are unequally distributed, some of the villagers would have 2 or more cell phones, other none.

33 would be Internet users, 15 would have Internet access from home and 12 would be active users of Facebook (II.).

33 would believe in witchcraft, ghosts, alien, etc. The number is a rough assumption, but according to a Gallup Poll in Sub-Saharan Africa, 55% of its residents personally believe in witchcraft. According to the poll by the Associated Press and Ipsos, a third of Americans say they believe in ghosts (IV.) (V.).

25 would live in substandard housing or have no home at all.

22 would be overweight (VI.).

17 would be overweight (Source: WHO)
13 would suffer from malnutrition. (VII.).

10 would have no job. Villagers with a job would work in agriculture: 36, industry: 21, and services: 43.

Sathon road Bangkok at rush our. The villagers have 11 (x 70 mill.) cars causing frequent traffic collapses in metropolitan areas.

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World vehicles per capita
World map of vehicles per thousand people. (from Wikipedia)
The villagers would have 11 cars or light trucks. On the map on the right you see the unequal distribution.

10 would live in least developed countries.

7 would be unable to read and write (age 15 and over).
7 would have a college education.

At least 5 would be part of the gay community (nowadays also abbreviated to LGBT or even LGBQT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Queer, and Transgender) (VIII.).

3 would be migrants
Includes migrant workers, internally displaced persons, and refugees (IX.).

1 has visited this website you're looking at.
More than 112 million people have visited Nations Online Project since it came into existence in 1998.

1 would have HIV/AIDS (that still means that 70 million! people on Earth are infected).

The richest 1 in our village actually owns 40% of the entire wealth.
Europe, the US and some Asia Pacific nations account for most of the extremely wealthy. More than a third live in the US. Japan accounts for 27% of the total, the UK for 6% and France for 5%. (X.)

Half of the entire village's wealth would be in the hands of only 6 people, and most of them would be citizens of the United States.

So not everything in our little village is looking good, its citizens are responsible for the rapid depletion of nonrenewable mineral resources and the depletion of forest areas and wetlands. Only some of the townsfolk worry about the extinction of animal and plant species, and the deterioration in air and water quality.

According to a serious source they all will live for 67.59 years.

When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed perspective, the need for cooperation, tolerance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent.

I. Marshall McLuhan Foresees The Global Village
II. Measuring the Information Society 2011
by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) a specialized agency of the United Nations.
see also: World Internet Users and Population Stats
III. How Americans View Government
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
IV. How Many Americans Believe in Ghosts, Spells and Superstition?
The Christian Post
V. Britain's favourite haunts
BBC News "Some 42% of Britons think ghosts, phantoms and other supernatural apparitions really exist."
VI. Obesity and overweight (WHO)
VII. Global hunger declining, but still unacceptably high. (FAO) pdf
VIII. Demographics of sexual orientation
Wikipedia article about the complex of problems with demographics of sexual orientation.
IX. International Organization for Migration (IOM)
About Migration / Facts & Figures.
X. World's richest 1% own 40% of all wealth, UN report discovers
By James Randerson, science correspondent, The Guardian, UK.

More Sources: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - Global Environment Outlook, UNICEF, Population Reference Bureau (PRB), CIA World Factbook -- World

Summary of the World
I read the "Summary of the World" for the first time in the internet 10 years ago, but its origin seems to go back to the Twenties of the last century. Fascinated from this concept I had extended its original content several time. This is the latest version: Summary of the World, Version 3.3.2 or 4, who cares. Whatever, I like it, because only some of the villagers can handle great numbers, the rest of us will understand global connections and relations more easily in small amounts.

Klaus Kästle, Editor Nations Online Project

Thanks to L. Burt, USA, C. Perret, UK, Tom Baker, UK, and Bob MacDonald, USA for their suggestions.
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keywords: global village, summary of the world, 100 people, world population statistics.

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World Resources Report 2008
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