A statistical look at Earth offers perspective on life

Wok & Roll by Peter Kwong, (Frederic) Inter-County Leader
  » Download this column as a Word document

The Earth that we live on is the third planet from the sun and the fifth-largest planet in the solar system. Its radius is 3,963 miles and over 7.7 billion of us reside on this tiny planet that we call home.

I thought it would be interesting to find out just where the majority live, what religions they believe in and what languages they speak.

A good friend just sent me an article that answered all my questions. It is quite interesting, and I would like to share it with you all.

Peter Kwong, earth
Peter Kwong

Some mathematicians have gathered all the statistics and in order to make it simple for us common folks to comprehend, they have condensed the 7.7 billion people into a simple 100, so it makes more sense to us when we look at the simple statistics.

At least, it’s easier for me, as I’ve never been good in math. Geometry and algebra were hard for me in high school. Then, I had to take calculus in college. To understand the logic of probability and chance is beyond me.

One thing for sure, I’ve learned that living in the Northwoods, the chance of hitting a deer on the road is about 1 in 72, according to State Farm records. So, last year, my wife and I both hit deer. She totaled her car, while mine cost me more than $6,000 for repair.

Boy, are we lucky. Should go out and get some lotto tickets.

So, here is a simplified report of our little tiny Earth, enjoy.

If the world had a population of 100:

Eleven would live in Europe; five in North America; nine in South America; 15 in Africa; and 60 in Asia.

Forty-nine of them live in the countryside; fifty-one live in cities.

Twelve speak Chinese; five Spanish; five English; three Arabic; three Hindi; three Malay; three Portuguese; two Russian; two Japanese; and 62 have their own dialect.

Seventy-seven have their own home. Twenty-three are homeless.

Twenty-one are overweight. Sixty-three are well fed, 15 need extra nutrition, and one doesn’t know when their next meal is coming.

Eighty-seven have clean drinking water; 13 drink from polluted sources.

Seventy-five have cellphones and 25 don’t.

Thirty can explore the internet and 70 cannot

Seven can attend college. Ninety-three have never heard of college.

Eighty-three can read and write. Seventeen are illiterate.

Thirty-three are Christians. Twenty-two are Muslims. Fourteen are Hindu. Seven are Buddhist. Twelve practice other religions. Twelve are atheist.

Twenty-six won’t live to be 14 years old. Sixty-six live from 15 to 64 years old. Eight will live past 65 years old.

Fifty are men. Fifty are women.

After I read the statistics, I couldn’t help but be thankful for what I have — a lovely wife, a comfortable home and a late career that keeps me going after retirement.

So, my dear friends, start to enjoy what you have and be happy. Life is precious and priceless.