Saturday, December 6, 2008

Few facts for you all to consider

These Fact talk about problems of world in numbers:
1. According to the report, published by the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) and based on data from 2000, the top one percent of the world’s adult population (about 37 million people) owns 40 percent of the world’s wealth, while the top two percent owns over half and the top 10 percent owns 85 percent. Wealth is defined as physical and financial assets minus liabilities.
In contrast, the bottom half of the world’s adult population—or about 1.85 billion people—owns collectively only one percent of the world’s assets.
This means that the top one percent of the world’s adult population owns 40 times more than the bottom 50 percent, and nearly 3 times more than the bottom 90 percent. Put another way, the authors note, "The average member of the top decile [top 10 percent] owns nearly 3,000 times the mean wealth of the bottom decile, and the average member of the top percentile [top one percent] is more than 13,000 times richer."(The report does not take into account individuals under the age of 20). Using a common measure of inequality, the Gini coefficient, the authors note that the global wealth Gini is higher, at 0.892, than the corresponding figure for income. A Gini value of 0.892 "roughly corresponds to the Gini value that would be recorded in a 10-person population if one person had $1,000 and the remaining 9 people each had $1," the report notes.
In 1960, the 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 2000, 80 times as much.
Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than two dollars a day(with PPP) or 20 Rs per day approximaely.

2. According to the report, the top one percent of the population in the US owns 32.7 percent of the wealth, trailing only Switzerland, where the top one percent owns 34.8 percent. However, the US figure excludes the very richest families that are included in the list of Forbes billionaires. If these were included, the share owned by the top one percent would rise to 34.7 percent. The share owned by the top ten percent, a figure that is available for a larger set of countries, ranges from 41.4 percent in China to 69.8 percent in the US. The richest one-tenth of one percent of the population, or about 300,000 Americans, reported significantly higher combined pretax income in 2004 than the poorest 120 million.

3.World gross domestic product (world population approximately 6.5 billion) in 2006 was $48.2 trillion in 2006.
The world’s wealthiest countries (approximately 1 billion people) accounted for $36.6 trillion dollars (76%).
The world’s billionaires — just 497 people (approximately 0.000008% of the world’s population) — were worth $3.5 trillion (over 7% of world GDP).
Low income countries (2.4 billion people) accounted for just $1.6 trillion of GDP (3.3%).
Middle income countries (3 billion people) made up the rest of GDP at just over $10 trillion (20.7%). The world’s low income countries (2.4 billion people) account for just 2.4% of world exports.
4.Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.
5. In recorded history since 3600 BC, over 14,500 major wars have killed close to four billion people – two-thirds of the current world population In armed conflicts since 1945, 90 per cent of casualties have been civilians compared to 50 per cent in the Second World War and 10 per cent in the First. There are at least 250,000 child soldiers fighting in armed conflict. USA is World’s biggest arms exporter – supplies around 40 per cent of the developing world’s arms. World’s second-largest arms exporter with a 25 per cent share of the legal global market.

6. Over millenia, due to agriculture and deforestation carried out by ancient and medieval societies, CO2 levels in the atmosphere inched along from 260 parts per million (ppm) to about 278 ppm until the time of the Industrial Revolution. However, since the mid-18th century, CO2 has jumped to 384 ppm, much of it in the past few decades. As a consequence, the Earth’s average temperature has risen about 0.8 degrees C since the Industrial Revolution, reaching 14.5 degrees C in 2005. The problem, as Paul Brown explains in Global Warming: The Last Chance for Change, is that there’s more warming in the pipeline. There’s a lag of about 25-30 years between greenhouse gases being emitted and the full effects of their warming. So the recent climate chaos is actually the consequence of emissions in the late 1970s. The full effects of more recent emissions, including from China’s coal-based power stations that some are suddenly and rightly concerned about, will be felt in the years to come. We are committed, Brown writes, to a further 0.7 degrees C. That would add up to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. At 1.5 degrees, 18 per cent of the world’s species will die, and 400 million more people worldwide will be exposed to water stress. In terms of historical emissions, industrialized countries account for roughly 80% of the carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere to date. Annually, more than 60 percent of global industrial carbon dioxide emissions originate in industrialized countries, where only about 20 percent of the world’s population resides. the North is responsible for the problem of global warming given their huge historical emissions. It owes its current prosperity to decades of overuse of the common atmospheric space and its limited capacity to absorb GHGs. Per capita emissions of carbon in the U.S. are over 20 times higher than India, 12 times higher than Brazil and seven times higher than China.
7. 1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometre, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 litres per day. In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 litres of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day).
A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water.
8. In the slums of mumbai countless women line up for water every morning. From four in the morning they begin positioning their buckets in line to stake their place in the queue. Sometimes, they might not get the water they wait for, which is no more than 40-50 litres a day. In and around the same Mumbai, in the same period, there were 24 amusement water parks using 50 billion – that’s right, 50 billion – litres of water a day for the entertainment of the rich. In the desert state of Rajasthan, plagued by actual scarcity of water for five years, more water parks and golf courses were planned. A single golf course takes 1.8 to 2.3 million litres of water a day through the season. On that amount of water, over 100,000 villagers in the state could have all their water needs met for the entire summer season.
9. In india Public spending on health is a mere 0.8% of GDP(reduced from 1.5% from 20 years earlier) , and medical care is now the second most common cause of rural family debt in india. The UNHDR records that almost a third of India's children, or 30 per cent, are below average weight at birth. Amongst children under the age of five, 47 per cent in India are underweight.
Each year since 1990, the Human Development Report (HDR) of the UNDP publishes the Human Development Index (HDI). This index "looks beyond GDP to a broader definition of well-being." The HDI seeks to capture "three dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth). Being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education). And third: GDP per capita measured in U.S. dollars at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)." the rank of 128 puts us in the bottom 50 of the 177 nations that the UNDP Human Development Report looks at. Treat Adivasis and Dalits as a separate nation and you will find that nation in the bottom 25. Or subtract our per capita GDP ranking from the process and watch India as a whole do a slide.India rose in the dollar billionaire rankings, though. From rank 8 in 2006 to number 4 in the Forbes list this year, but we slipped from 126 to 128 in human development. Cuba has zero standing in the roll call of billionaires. In terms of per capita income, it ranks low in the world. But when it comes to human development, it ranks 51 - that is, 77 places ahead of us.

10. An analysis of long-term trends shows the distance between the richest and poorest countries was about:
3 to 1 in 1820
11 to 1 in 1913
35 to 1 in 1950
44 to 1 in 1973
72 to 1 in 1992

In Monetary terms according to the World Bank, the 2.3 billion residents of low-income countries accounted for less than 3% of public and private consumption in 2004, while the 1 billion residents of high-income countries consumed more than 80% of the global total. In this same year the United States accounted for 4.6 percent of the world's population and 33 percent of global consumption--more than $9 trillion U.S. dollars.In The U.S. itself also has the largest gap and inequality between rich and poor compared to all the other industrialized nations. For example, the top 1% receives more money than the bottom 40% and the gap is the widest in 70 years. Furthermore, in the last 20 years while the share of income going to the top 1% has increased, it has decreased for the poorest 40%.

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