100 People: A world portrait

100 People: A world portrait
100 People
April 2015


The world population has now reached 7 billion people. This milestone inspired us to conduct research to update our statistics, and the changes over the past 5 years are remarkable. In 2006, only 1 person out of 100 would have had a college education– today that number has jumped to 7 thanks in part to advances in higher education in Asia. The detailed research and source information can be found here and the statistics provided by Donella Meadows in 1990 that originally inspired our project can be viewed here.


If the World were 100 PEOPLE:
50 would be female
50 would be male


26 would be children
There would be 74 adults,
8 of whom would be 65 and older


There would be:
60 Asians
15 Africans
14 people from the Americas
11 Europeans


33 Christians
22 Muslims
14 Hindus
7 Buddhists
12 people who practice other religions
12 people who would not be aligned with a religion


12 would speak Chinese
5 would speak Spanish
5 would speak English
3 would speak Arabic
3 would speak Hindi
3 would speak Bengali
3 would speak Portuguese
2 would speak Russian
2 would speak Japanese
62 would speak other languages


83 would be able to read and write; 17 would not


7 would have a college degree
22 would own or share a computer


77 people would have a place to shelter them
from the wind and the rain, but 23 would not


1 would be dying of starvation
15 would be undernourished
21 would be overweight


87 would have access to safe drinking water
13 people would have no clean, safe water to drink