Saturday, April 02, 2005

Living in an Unequal World

According to some experts, we have reached the age of abundance, and the “trickle-down effect” will take care of the poorer lot of the world – as they say, “The rising tide will raise all the boats.”

The facts and figures, however, show a very different picture of the world we live in. We seem to be living in an “Siphoning-Up Economy”.

According to UNDP's Human Development Report (1998) :

  • Globally, the richest 20% people consume 58% of all energy, while the poorest 20% get to use only 4% of the global energy output.

  • 87% of the vehicles are owned by the richest 20% of the world, while the poorest 20% own less than 1% of vehicles.

  • The richest 20% consume 84% of the paper, while the poorest 20% use 1.1%.

  • 74% of telephone lines are for the richest 20%; the comparative figure for the poorest 20% is 1.5%.

  • The richest 20% consume about 45% of all meat and fish, while the poorest 20% consume just about 5% of the produce.

  • In all, 86% of the total private consumption expenditure is accounted by the richest 20% living in high-income countries, while the poorest 20% account for negligible 1.3%.

    The UNDP’s Human Development Report (1999) had these statistics :

  • The 20% richest people living in the world’s richest countries are beneficiaries of 82% of the global export trade, and 68% of FDIs; the bottom 20% get less than 1%

  • The gap between the rich and the poor countries has widened. In 1913, the top 20% had 13-times more income than the bottom 20%; in 1960 this had grown to 30-times, and in 1997, this proportion had become 74-times.

    Some more facts from other sources:

  • A mere 12% of the world’s population uses 85% of world’s water resources, and this 12% does not live in developing countries

  • The GDP of the world’s 48 poorest countries is less than the combined wealth of the world’s 3 richest people

  • According to a 1999 World Bank Report on Global Development Financing, for ever $1 of loan received, the developing countries spend $13 for debt-repayment

  • According to a 2002 article published in The Guardian “The richest 50m people, huddled in Europe and North America, have the same income as 2.7bn poor people. The slice of the cake taken by 1% is the same size as that handed to the poorest 57%.”,2763,636624,00.html

  • 1 comment:

    weird said...

    i was starled with the facts you have picked up from different places..
    i was informed that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer but these statements have awestruck me...
    poohhh... we live in a de-civilized world... we sure do...