If the World Were a Village of 100 People

If the World Were a Village of 100 PeopleOne of my favorite ways to share statistics with people about the state of the world is to use the “If the World Were a Village of 100 People” analogy.

It was first created in 1990 by Donella Meadows.   Basically, it takes some of the world’s most recognized statistics and breaks them down into a bite-size picture of what it look like if there were only 100 of us living in a village.  It’s hard to understand with millions of people living without clean drinking water would look like but much easier to envision what 13 people living without drinking water would look like in a village of 100 people.

The following is an updated (2006) version of the original idea.  It’s from the website 100people.org:

If the World were 100 PEOPLE:

50 would be female
50 would be male

26 would be children
There would be 74 adults,
8 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:
60 Asians
15 Africans
14 people from the Americas
11 Europeans

33 Christians
22 Muslims
14 Hindus
7 Buddhists
12 people who practice other religions
12 people who would not be aligned with a religion

12 would speak Chinese
5 would speak Spanish
5 would speak English
3 would speak Arabic
3 would speak Hindi
3 would speak Bengali
3 would speak Portuguese
2 would speak Russian
2 would speak Japanese
62 would speak other languages

83 would be able to read and write; 17 would not

7 would have a college degree
22 would own or share a computer

77 people would have a place to shelter them
from the wind and the rain, but 23 would not

1 would be dying of starvation
15 would be undernourished
21 would be overweight

87 would have access to safe drinking water
13 people would have no clean, safe water to drink

Sources: 2012 – Fritz Erickson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ferris State University (Formerly Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay) and John A. Vonk, University of Northern Colorado, 2006; Returning Peace Corps Volunteers of Madison Wisconsin, Unheard Voices: Celebrating Cultures from the Developing World, 1992; Donella H. Meadows, The Global Citizen, May 31, 1990.



  • Sarah June 21, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Very interesting! I saw this a few weeks ago and it really shows how small our world is!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Brooke Grangard June 28, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Yes, definitely. It makes it so much easier to grasp.

  • Leah June 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    This is so interesting! Math was never my forte so breaking down a statistic is definitely out of my realm of expertise but it’s really cool to read it this way! Thanks for sharing! Found you on the Kelly Balarie link up 🙂

    • Brooke Grangard June 28, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Isn’t it amazing? I found it much easier to understand where the world is at afterwards.


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