The Global Village: A Social Snapshot of Our World
Earth is currently home to 7 billion people who live in the cities and villages of 195 nations. To grasp the social shape of the world on a smaller scale, imagine shrinking the planet’s population to a “global village” of just 1,000 people. In this village, more than half (603) of the inhabitants would be Asian, including 194 citizens of the People’s Republic of China. Next, in terms of numbers, we would find 149 Africans, 107 Europeans, 85 people from Latin America and the Caribbean, 5 people from Australia and the South Pacific, and just 50 North Americans, including 45 people from the United States.
A close look at this settlement would reveal some startling facts: The village is a rich place, with a spectacular range of goods and services for sale. Yet most of the villagers can only dream about such treasures, because they are so poor: 75 percent of the village’s total income is earned by just 200 people.
For most, the greatest problem is getting enough food. Every year, village workers produce more than enough to feed everyone; even so, about 130 people in the village do not get enough to eat, and many go to sleep hungry every night. These 130 residents (who together have less money than the single richest person in the village) lack both clean drinking water and safe shelter. Weak and often unable to work, they are at risk of contracting deadly diseases and dying.
The village has many schools, including a fine university. About 67 inhabitants have completed a college degree, but almost one-fifth of the village’s adults are not even able to read or write.
From Thinking Globally section of John Macionis book Sociology, 14th ed.