THE GEODICK BRIEFING
things to do
a sample of suspiciously nonrandom data
¶ 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day. ¶ Another 2 billion people will be added to the world's population by 2036. Of these, 97 percent will be in developing countries, and the majority will be in urban areas. ¶ 800 million people, most of them in low-income countries, are chronically undernourished. ¶ In low-income countries, 24 percent of the population is undernourished. ¶ Low birthweight, which is associated with maternal malnutrition, increases the risk of infant mortality and stunted childhood growth. In low-income countries, 21 percent of the babies are less than 2,500 grams at birth, compared to 7 percent in high-income countries. ¶ More than 10 million children die each year in the developing world, the vast majority from causes preventable through a combination of good care, nutrition, and medical treatment. ¶ In low-income countries, 78 percent of all relevant-aged boys, and 68 percent of all relevant-aged girls, finish primary school. The rest either drop out or never attend. ¶ Although middle-income countries have generally been more successful in reducing poverty than low-income countries, they are still home to 280 million people living on less than $1 per day, and to 870 million people living on less than $2 per day. ¶ Low levels of per capita health expenditure is a major factor in poor provision of basic heath services to people in developing countries, especially to women and children. Total health expenditure in developing countries is only $23 per capita in low income countries, and $72 per capita all developing countries. This compares to total health expenditures of $2,841 per capita in high income countries. ¶ The complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death and disability among women of reproductive age in developing countries. In low-income countries, 657 women die per 100,000 live births from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, compared to 106 in middle-income countries, and 13 in high-income countries. ¶ About one out of every 16 women in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to eventually die from pregnancy or childbirth, compared to one in 46 women in South and Central Asia, and one in every 2,800 women in high-income countries. ¶ Developing countries spend about as much on health (approximately 2.7 percent of GDP) as they do on military expenses (2.6 percent). Conversely, high-income countries spend about 6.3 percent of GDP on health compared to 2.4 percent on military expenditures. ¶ High-income and middle-income countries account for most water pollution from organic waste: high income countries account for 36 percent; middle income countries excluding China, 20 percent; and China, 31 percent. ¶ In low- and middle-income countries, 93 percent of the urban population and 70 percent of the rural population have reasonable access to at least 20 liters of water per person per day from an "improved source," such as a household connection, public standpipe, borehole, protected well or spring, or rainwater collection within 1 kilometer of each person's dwelling. For people in rural areas, this is up from 61 percent in 1990. ¶ One billion people lack access to safe water and 3 billion people lack safe sanitation. ¶ The global distribution of freshwater resources is uneven: Latin America and the Caribbean have an estimated 30,925 cubic meters per person; Europe and Central Asia, 13,511; East Asia and the Pacific, 6,020; South Asia, 2,684; and, in the arid Middle East and North Africa, 1,377. ¶ High-income countries, with only 15 percent of world population, use more than half of the world's energy. ¶ People in high-income countries use more than five times as much energy per capita as people in low-income countries. ¶ The share of people living in rural regions is declining in all regions of the world. For example, the share of rural population in Latin America and the Caribbean has declined from 35 percent in 1980 to 24 percent in 2002, which is similar to the average share of rural population in high income countries (22 percent). Globally, 52 percent of the world population lived in rural areas in 2002 compared to 61 percent in 1980. ¶ The use of coal, which releases twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas, has increased in low-income countries but decreased in high-income countries and in sub-Saharan Africa. Many countries have increased their reliance on natural gas, though its use in low-income countries seems to be replacing oil rather than coal. ¶ Due to high fertility rates, 31.2 percent of the population in developing countries in general is under the age of 15, compared to 18.3 percent in high-income countries. The highest proportion is in Uganda, where 49 percent of the population is aged 0 to 14. ¶ The conditions of poverty increase the risk of disability: malnutrition, lack of access to health care, bad drinking water, and high-risk working conditions all can cause, or contribute to, permanent disability. In turn, disability increases the risk of poverty: people with disabilities are frequently excluded from education, vocational training opportunities, health care programs, and other services that could enable them to avoid, or break out of, poverty. Consequently, as much as 15 to 20 percent of people living with poverty in developing countries have disabilities compared to 10 percent of the general population. ¶ Even in high-income countries, about 7 out of every 1,000 children die before age 5. But in developing countries, about 88 of them die, including 174 out of every 1,000 children in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 95 in South Asia. ¶ In low-income countries, 37.4 percent of the population has access to electricity, compared to 94 percent in middle-income countries, and near-universal access in high-income countries. ¶ About 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity. Unless new, vigorous polices are put in place, 1.4 billion people will remain without electricity in 2030. ¶ In Sub-Saharan Africa, every 100 workers need to support 82 children at home who are under the age of 15, compared to only 27 for workers in high-income countries.