Our world at a glance

National Geographic has compiled fascinating statistics about how Earth's 7 billion inhabitants live, drawing together information from the Population Reference Bureau, the UN and the World Bank. The magazine examined data on income, levels of education, access to sanitation and life expectancy to create an interactive map. Here are some of the findings:
Low-income level Very low (or no) population density Less than R10 852.47

How the population is spread
Lower middle Upper middle High

Most future population growth, National Geographic reports, will happen in less developed countries where birth rates remain the highest

R10 852.47 to R42 984.93

R42 997.05 to R132 881.16

More than R132 892.05

1 billion people fall into the low-income category

4 billion people fall into the lower middle-income category

1 billion people fall into the upper middle-income category

1 billion people fall into the highincome category

Access to improved sanitation (by percent)

This is defined by the UN as access to toilets, including simple pit toilets, that keep excrement away from humans, animals and insects


35% in low-income category

50% in lower middle-income category

84% upper middle-income category

99% in high-income category

Gobi Himalayas Sahara

Years of education

Researchers found that the more education a woman receives, the fewer children she’s likely to bear. This shows how education affects not only economic development, but population

7.9 years in lowincome category

Amazon Basin

10.3 years in lower middle-income category

13.8 years in upper middle-income category

14.5 years in high-income category

Cars (per 1 000 people)

5.8 in low-income category

20.3 in lower middle-income category

125.2 in upper middle-income category

435.1 in high-income category

Source: National Geographic


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