Our World in Numbers

Believe it or not !

You may simply not believe the following numbers - I really didn't when I first researched them! However, I assure you they really are all accurate. Together they paint a picture of a World that is going badly wrong.

If you agree that this is not the way for us to live in the 21st century then take a look at some of the inspiring quotations on my next page "Our World in Words". These signpost some of the ideas and values we need to think about to put this right.

Economic Growth & Inequality

  • Half the world's resources are now owned by just 1% of the population, and the richest 10 people in the world are worth more than the poorest 3.5 billion.
  • In the 10 years of reforms that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, industrial output in Russia fell by almost 60% and male life expectancy was reduced by 7 years.
  • In 2007 the developing World was having to pay $13 in debt repayments for every 1$ of aid received.

Pollution of our Environment

  • Figures published by NASA from analysis of ice cores shows that the Carbon Dioxide level in our atmosphere has varied between 180 to 300 parts per million (ppm) over the last 650,000 years. Today as a result of the burning of fossil fuels the level has reached over 400 ppm and by the middle of this century it is expected to rise to over 550 ppm.
  • Scientists estimate that if we are to keep global warming within a 2 degree limit we can add no more than 565 gigatons of Carbon Dioxide from fossil fuels between now and 2050. But the combined known reserves of coal, oil and gas declared by fossil fuel companies, which they intend us to burn, would add five times this amount to the atmosphere.

USA & Democracy

  • In 2012 the total spend on combined elections in the USA for Senate, House of Representatives and the Presidency was almost $6 billion.
  • Almost a quarter of the potential American democratic electorate, an estimated 51 million US Citizens, are not even registered to vote.

War & Weapons

  • Less than 22 hours of combined World military spending equals the entire World Health Organisation (WHO) budget for a year.
  • 43% of all arms deliveries to developing nations are sourced from the United States.
  • There are 80 million landmines undetected around the World and someone steps on a landmine every 28 minutes. 80% of the victims are civilians and most are women and children.
  • A typical country with $250 GDP per capita has an average 15% risk of experiencing civil war in a five year period, but in higher income countries with $5000 GDP per capita this risk is reduced to less than 1%.

Global Finance

  • Daily trading in World currency markets in 2010 reached almost $4 trillion, up by 675% since 1991. These global flows of finance are 80 times greater than the actual rate of physical trade in goods and services.
  • As of 2013 the total cost of the “War on Terror” to the USA including military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan was $2,400 billion. This money had to be borrowed, so has added 15% to the total US public debt.

Healthcare& Nutrition

  • Africa suffers 24% of the global burden of disease, yet has only 3% of the World's health workers. Before the Ebola outbreak, Liberia had only 1 doctor for every 71,000 people.
  • In the last ten years over 10 million children in Africa have been orphaned by the AIDs virus.
  • Globally, there is enough grain alone to provide everyone in the World with 3,600 calories per day (1,200 more than the UN's recommended daily intake). But more than a third of the World's grain is actually used to fatten animals or manufacture bio-fuels.