• Population: 6,602,224,175 (July 2007 est.).
• Growth rate: 1.167% (2007 est.).
• Birth rate: 20.09 births/1,000 population (2007 est.).
• Death rate: 8.37 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.).
• Sex ratio (at birth): 1.07 males/females (2007 est.).
• Infant mortality rate: 43.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.).
• Life expectancy at birth: Total population: 65.82 years. Male: 63.89 years. Female: 67.84 years (2007 est.).
• Total fertility rate: 2.59 children born per woman (2007 est.).
• Literacy: Age 15 and over who can read and write (2005 est.). Total population: 82%. Male: 87%. Female: 77%. NOTE: Over two-thirds of the world's 785 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries (India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Egypt); of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women; extremely low literacy rates are concentrated in three regions, South and West Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Arab states, where around one-third of the men and half of all women are illiterate (2005 est.)
Government and Economy
• Political divisions: 194 sovereign nations, 61 dependent areas, and 6 disputed territories.
• Economy: Global output rose by 5% in 2006, led by China (10.5%), India (8.5%), and Russia (6.6%). Growth results posted by the major industrial countries varied from no gain for Italy to strong gain by the United States (3.4%). The developing nations varied in their growth results, with many countries facing population increases that erode gains in output. The addition of 80 million people each year to an already overcrowded globe is exacerbating the problems of pollution, desertification, underemployment, epidemics, and famine. Because of their own internal problems and priorities, the industrialized countries devote insufficient resources to deal effectively with the poorer areas of the world, which, at least from an economic point of view, are becoming further marginalized
• GWP/PPP: $65 trillion (2006 est.).
• GWP—real growth rate: 5.1% (2006 est.).
• GWP/PPP—per capita: $10,000 (2006 est.).
• GWP composition: agriculture 4%, industry 32%, services 64% (2004 est.).
• Inflation rate (consumer price index): developed countries 1% to 4% typically; developing countries 5% to 20% typically (2005 est.).
• Unemployment rate: 30% combined unemployment and underemployment in many non-industrialized countries; developed countries typically 4%–12% unemployment.
• Exports: $12.44 trillion (f.o.b., 2004 est.).
• Imports: $12.09 trillion (f.o.b., 2004 est.).
• External debt: $44.61 trillion (2004 est.)
• Military expenditures: roughly 2% of GWP (2005 est.).
Global Political, Economic, and Social Facts
• In the last two decades, political and civil rights have improved substantially throughout the world: since 1980, 81 countries have taken significant steps in democratization, with 33 military regimes replaced by civilian governments. But of these fledgling democracies, only 47 are considered full democracies today.
• Only 82 countries, representing 57% of the world's population, are fully democratic.
• Multiparty elections are now held in 140 of the world's 193 countries.
• Coups overthrew 46 elected governments in the second half of the twentieth century.
• The proportion of the world's extremely poor fell from 29% in 1990 to 23% in 1999.
• In 1999, 2.8 billion people lived on less than $2 a day, with 1.2 billion of them surviving on the margins of subsistence with less than $1 a day.
• In 2000, 1.1 billion people lacked access to safe water, and 2.4 billion did not have access to any form of improved sanitation services.
• Between 1970 and 2000 the under-5 mortality rate worldwide fell from 96 to 56 per 1,000 live births.
• Just 125 countries, with 62% of the world's population, have a free or partly free press.
• In 2001, 37 journalists died in the line of duty. Another 118 were imprisoned. Worldwide, more than 600 journalists or their news organizations were intimidated or physically attacked.
• In 103 countries the proportion of women in parliament increased between 1995 and 2000, but around the world it still averages just 14%.
• Of the world's estimated 854 million illiterate adults, 544 million are women.
• Armed conflict continues to blight the lives of millions: since 1990, 3.6 million people have died as a result of civil wars and ethnic violence, more than 16 times the number killed in wars between states.
• Civilians have accounted for more than 90% of the casualties—either injured or killed—in post-cold war conflicts.
• Ninety countries are affected by landmines and unexploded ordinance, with rough estimates of 15,000 to 20,000 mine victims each year.
Measuring Global Poverty
Traditionally, poverty has been measured by the lack of a minimum income (or consumption level) necessary to meet basic needs. Measuring poverty on a global scale requires establishing a uniform poverty level across extremely divergent economies, which can result in only rough comparisons. The World Bank has defined the international poverty line as U.S. $1 and $2 per day in 1993 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)1, which adjusts for differences in the prices of goods and services between countries. The $1 per day level is generally used for the least developed countries, primarily African; the $2-per-day level is used for middle income economies such as those of East Asia and Latin America. By this measure, in 2003 there were 1.2 billion out of the developing world's 4.8 billion people living on $1 per day, while another 2.8 billion were living on less than $2 per day2. In 2003, the richest fifth of the world's population received 85% of the total world income, while the poorest fifth received just 1.4% of the global income.
The $1- and $2-per-day measures offer a convenient, albeit crude, way to quantify global poverty. In the last several decades, poverty research has adopted a broader, multidimensional approach, taking into account a variety of social indicators in addition to income.
The UN Human Poverty Index, for example, factors in illiteracy, malnutrition among children, early death, poor health care, and poor access to safe water. Vulnerability to famine or flooding, lack of sanitation, exposure to disease, a diet poor in nutrients, and the absence of education are as much the signs of poverty as material deprivation. Providing the poor with basic social services and infrastructure would in many cases alleviate poverty to a greater extent than simply a rise in income level.
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