First published in 2002, If the World Were a Village, received a much-needed update this year. The colorfully-painted, folk-art illustrations haven't changed, but the statistics have been updated. As with the original book, the numbers are fascinating to contemplate, and offer Western children a look at the world from a much larger vantage point than the one with which they are familiar.
The premise of the book is simple. Proportionately reduce the world's population to 100 people and examine the demographics. Here are just a few of the many facts in If the World Were a Village:
How many people in the village of 100 have electricity?
76 have electricity
24 do not
Of the 100 people in the global village
61 are from Asia
14 are from Africa
11 are from Europe
8 are from South America, Central America (including Mexico), and the Caribbean
5 are from Canada and the United States
1 is from Oceania
How much money do people in the global village have?
If all the money in the village were divided equally, each person would have about $10,300 US dollars per year. But in the global village, money isn't divided equally.
The richest 10 people have nearly 85 percent of the world's wealth. Each has more than $87 500 a year.
The poorest 10 people have less than $2 a day.
Language, age, religion, food, environment, school, money, energy and health are also featured, along with extensive source notes.
I'm so glad that it's been updated. In today's world, politics, society, environment and economics are all global issues. This is a must read.
A teacher's guide is available from Kids Can Press.