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Explaining the world through a village

I find it difficult to really connect with statistics on world poverty, literacy, and economics. Human stories are compelling, but don’t give an idea of scale. That’s why I think the little book If the World Were a Village, by David J. Smith, is so clever in bringing the figures to life. As the back cover says, if the world were a village of just 100 people (rather than 6 billion) then:

  • 22 people speak a Chinese dialect
  • 20 earn less than 65p a day
  • 17 cannot read or write
  • only 30 always have enough to eat
  • 25 have a television in their homes

I can understand that, and so it seems can many others, because about one million copies of the book have sold, with 18 foreign language editions.

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