The miniature earth

The miniature earth

The miniature earth is a powerful and humbling presentation that begins:

If we could turn the population of the earth into a small community of 100 people, keeping the same proportions we have today, it would be something like this…

It’s based on the State of the Village Report which reduces the world population to a representative village of 1,000 people. The miniature earth project reduces it further to only 100.

The facts are quite humbling, particularly given that I slept in a comfortable bed last night, in my own house, and had enough to eat for breakfast this morning. Also, I’m writing this on one of two PCs that I own, connected to the World Wide Web via a broadband connection, and I have a job that pays me in a day what 18% of the world’s population earn in two and a half months.

A few of the statistics:

Where we’re from

  • 61 Asians
  • 13 Africans
  • 12 Europeans
  • 8 North Americans
  • 5 South Americans and the Caribbean
  • 1 from Oceania


  • 33 are Christian (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Anglicans and other Christians)
  • 18 are Muslims
  • 14 are Hindus
  • 6 are Buddhists
  • 13 practice other religions
  • 16 are non-religious

Money and education

  • 6 people own 59% of the entire wealth of the community
  • 13 are hungry or malnourished
  • 14 can’t read
  • only 7 are educated at a secondary level
  • only 12 have a computer
  • only 3 have an internet connection
  • The village spend more than US$1.12 trillion on military expenditures
  • and only US$ 100 billion on development aid

A few of most shocking statistics for me were these:

If you keep your food in a refrigerator, your clothes in a closet, have a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head: you are richer than 75% of the entire world population.

If you have a bank account you are one of the 30 wealthiest people in the world.

18 struggle to live on US$ 1.00 per day or less…

53 struggle to live on US$ 2.00 per day or less…

The presentation ends with the words: “Appreciate what you have … and do your best for a better world.”

You can download the presentation in a stand-alone version (for Windows and Mac) for a US$5.00 donation. (US$0.50 goes to charity, the rest towards hosting the website and spreading the message … to those who earn enough to do something about the problem!)

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

3 thoughts on “The miniature earth”

  1. I liked that until the dollar a day thing.
    People who rant on about that don’t understand basic economics. Say a country like Somalia that no-one really wants to go to. That means their currency is massively undervalued and you can live like a king for a “dollar” a day, because, where bread might cost up like a pound here, it would cost them a fraction of that price.

  2. 33 are Christian (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Anglicans and other Christians)

    Hmmm. Are Anglicans not a subset of Protestants then? Always thought they were.

    I tend to classify myself as ‘Christian, other’ when I have to fill in forms that ask nowadays – I’m not particularly protesting about anything. And as it happens, I was in a Catholic Church this morning, not a Protestant one…

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