We have reached a big milestone - The planet has now passed Seven Billion People alive at the same time
. Many will no doubt write about the various effects this has to urbanization, poverty, hunger etc. Here, we're revisiting analysis I've done before about the Digital Divide
and examine now with updated numbers on how does the planet split its technology, telecoms and media.THE WEALTH DIVIDE
The very first divide is splitting the world into two by wealth. There are those of us like myself, lucky enough to be born into the 'Industrialized World'. We only number in about 1.2 Billion people, or 17%, who were fortunate to be born into families living in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the Industrialized part of Asia often called Japan and the 'Tiger Nations' like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea etc. This part of the world is also often called the 'West' even as major parts of it - Japan, Australia etc - are in fact in the very far East.
So 5.8 Billion people - 83% of the planet - was born into countries of the 'Emerging World', including Africa, Latin America and much of Asia including most of its most populous nations like China, India and Indonesia. This is the part of the world that was once called the 'Third World' and the 'Underdeveloped World' (terms that tend to be strongly resented and rejected) and more recently the 'Developing World' but the term that is most preferred when using this divide is 'Emerging World'.HOUSEHOLDS
There are about 1.8 Billion households for the Seven Billion people. When we average the whole world, it means 3.8 people living per household. The wealth divide splits that so, that there are about 480 million households in the Industrialized World, where the population has about 2.5 people living per household. In the Emerging World they cram 4.3 people per household. Bear in mind, that the people in the wealthy parts of the planet also tend to have far larger homes, with more rooms, so typically most families have more rooms than people per household; in the Emerging World that is the opposite, in many poor parts there are many people living in a small hut or home where they share the room.
The story gets more interesting with a few concrete stats. 1.6 Billion people live without electricity - that's 23%, almost a quarter of the world's population. And remember, even those who nominally have their home connected to the electrical grid, may experience regular, daily interruptions in the supply of electricity. But yes. Electricity? For the Industrialized World, the proportion of families living outside of the coverage of electricity is a tiny fraction of one percent.
But in the Emerging World, 28% of homes do not have electricity. Yes, if you were born into the Emerging World, there is more than a one in four chance that you are growing up without electric lights to help you read and do your homework.
Another way to look at it, is access to running water. Homes in the Industrialized World have running water. But 17% of people born into the Emerging World live in homes that have no running water.
Thats 970 million people roughly speaking and 14% of the total planet's population who will have to walk just to fetch water.
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