Friday, June 29, 2007

The Minority World Getting More Exclusive...

The UN Population Fund knows a little bit about humans. This week they released their annual State of the World Population report. You should read it.

I think First World, Third World, Developing and Developed Countries are unfortunate terms. The end of the Cold War made the first two obsolete. The last two are overly economistic. So, I prefer Minority and Majority World in an intentionally economistic context to describe the rich and powerful [those of us in the OECD oases of economic health] minority of humans versus the impoverished majority.

One of the most disturbing elements is in a table on page 90, "Democratic and Social Indicators."

6.62 billion: world population 2007
9.08 billion: world population 2050 [projected, duh]
1.22 billion: more developed regions 2007
1.24 billion: more developed regions 2050 [projected]

This is remarkable. As the population is expected to increase by almost 50% in the next 43 years, the proportion expected to live in the wealth of the current minority world is expected to increase by just over 1%.

Now, the minority world makes up about 18.4%. It is expected to be only 13.8%. So much for having much faith in the world leading to more economic equality if things continue the way they are!

It's online here as a .pdf, "Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth":

A multimedia online or downloadable introductory piece is here:

There is also a supplementary piece on the duality of Vancouver's urban climate, focusing on the downtown eastside:
"Vancouver: Prosperity and poverty make for uneasy bedfellows in world’s most ‘liveable’ city"

And some work on "Top Misconceptions about Urban Growth":

In all, the Press Kit & Resources section has good supplementary work:

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