If you want to understand the difficulties of large numbers, you'd do well to refer to this quote that has often been attributed to Russian strongman Josef Stalin.
"The death of one man is a tragedy," Stalin supposedly told Winston Churchill. "The death of millions is statistic."
The basic idea is that humans have a pretty tough time wrapping our heads around extremely high amounts of anything. World demographics are another excellent example of that phenomenon: 7.5 billion is, frankly, incomprehensible. Sometimes people try to reduce human lives to things like Skittles — with humiliating results. But still, it's useful to at least have a hi-bye relationship with understanding just who makes up our world. OG blogger Jason Kottke found this excellent microcosmic analysis that asks: What if just 100 people lived on Earth?
"By framing the global population as 100 people, our media makes education more engaging and effective, and improves students' abilities to remember and relate to what they learn," 100 People: A World Portrait writes.
The statistics aren't shocking, but they are illuminating. Here are some numbers, adjusted to 2016 population estimates. If the world were 100 people:
25 people would be age 0-14
60 would be from Asia
16 would be from Africa
5 would be from North America
31 would be Christian
23 would be Muslim
12 would speak Chinese
6 would speak Spanish
Just 5 would speak English
11 would live on less than $1.90 USD per day
Think about if only five people lived on this entire continent. And you could only speak with English with four other people worldwide. It all kind of makes me want to pick Spanish up again.
Watch a video breaking down the demographics below.
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