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Statistics

  1. Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than two dollars a day. source 1
  2. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined. source 2
  3. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. source 3
  4. Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn't happen. 4
  5. 51 percent of the world’s 100 hundred wealthiest bodies are corporations. source 5
  6. The wealthiest nation on Earth has the widest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation. source 6
  7. The poorer the country, the more likely it is that debt repayments are being extracted directly from people who neither contracted the loans nor received any of the money. source 7
  8. 20% of the population in the developed nations, consume 86% of the world’s goods. source 8
  9. The top fifth of the world’s people in the richest countries enjoy 82% of the expanding export trade and 68% of foreign direct investment — the bottom fifth, barely more than 1%. source 9
  10. In 1960, the 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 1997, 74 times as much. source 10
    1. An analysis of long-term trends shows the distance between the richest and poorest countries was about:
    2. 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 source 11
    1. “The lives of 1.7 million children will be needlessly lost this year [2000] because world governments have failed to reduce poverty levels” source 12
    2. The developing world now spends $13 on debt repayment for every $1 it receives in grants. source 13
    3. A few hundred millionaires now own as much wealth as the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people. source 14
    4. “The 48 poorest countries account for less than 0.4 per cent of global exports.” source 15
    5. “The combined wealth of the world’s 200 richest people hit $1 trillion in 1999; the combined incomes of the 582 million people living in the 43 least developed countries is $146 billion.” source 16
    6. “Of all human rights failures today, those in economic and social areas affect by far the larger number and are the most widespread across the world’s nations and large numbers of people.” source 17
    7. “Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are still chronically undernourished, almost two-thirds of whom reside in Asia and the Pacific.” source 18
    8. According to UNICEF, 30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

      That is about 210,000 children each week, or just under 11 million children under five years of age, each year. source 19

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