Monday, April 9

If the world were a village of 1,000 people

If the world were a village of 1,000 people, it would include:

· 584 Asians
· 124 Africans
· 95 East and West Europeans
· 84 Latin Americans
· 55 Soviets (includes Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians & others)
· 52 North Americans
· 6 Australians and New Zealanders

The people of the village have considerable difficulty in communicating:

· 165 people speak Mandarin
· 86 English
· 83 Hindi/Urdu
· 64 Spanish
· 58 Russian
· 37 Arabic

That list accounts for the mother tongues of only half the villagers. The other half speak (in descending order of frequency) Bengali, Portuguese, Indonesian, Japanese, German, French and 200 other languages.

In this village of 1,000 there are:

· 329 Christians (187 Catholics, 84 Protestants, 31 Orthodox)
· 178 Moslems
· 167 "non-religious"
· 132 Hindus
· 60 Buddhists
· 45 atheists
· 3 Jews
· 86 all other religions

* One-third (330) of the 1,000 people in the world village are children and only 60 are over the age of 65. Half the children are immunized against preventable infectious diseases such as measles and polio. The other half are not.

* This year 28 babies will be born. Ten people will die, 3 of them for lack of food, 1 from cancer, 2 of the deaths are of babies born within the year. One person of the 1,000 is infected with the HIV virus; that person most likely has not yet developed a full-blown case of AIDS.

* With the 28 births and 10 deaths, the population of the village next year will be 1,018.

* In this 1,000-person community, 200 people receive 75 percent of the income; another 200 receive only 2 percent of the income.

* Only 70 people of the 1,000 own an automobile (although some of the 70 own more than one automobile).

* About one-third have access to clean, safe drinking water.

* Of the 670 adults in the village, half are illiterate.

In the village of 1,000 people, there are:

· 5 soldiers
· 7 teachers
· 1 doctor
· 3 refugees driven from home by war or drought

The village has a total budget each year, public and private, of over $3 million - $3,000 per person if it is distributed evenly (which it isn't).

Of the total $3 million:

· $181,000 goes to weapons and warfare
· $159,000 for education
· $132,000 for health care

What does all this mean? Based on numbers alone, what in global missions must be realigned to address the disproportional imbalances?

This study comes from a Dona Meadows article. Other articles by her can be read at The Global Citizen.


Heather said...

Thanks for sharing that. Wow. It really puts some things into perspective.


Larry Who said...

Very interesting.

But it also underlines the point that preaching the gospel still changes one heart at a time. At times, changing only one heart at a time will seem slow. But it is the only way to change the above numbers.

GuyMuse said...


Yes, it does put things into perspective. All of us have the tendency to think of the world from our own frame of reference, and lose focus on the bigger picture of "God so loved the world..."

Larry Who,

Indeed, it is one heart at a time. One thing that struck me with the above numbers is that there is still a loooong way to go to fulfilling the Great Commission. It will depend more and more that some of these other nationalities take their rightful place in being missions senders, rather than missions receivers.

Alan Cross said...

Those numbers tell me that justice and development issues are the platform upon which people will respond to the gospel, and that we should not just focus on one aspect of God's mission over others.

GuyMuse said...


A good thought which implies that the Church must begin to find ways of partnering with others to deal with some of these issues affecting mankind. As important as justice/development issues are, we must never confuse these with the actual praying, going, discipling, teaching, and planting NT churches that Christ commissioned us to do in order to seeing God's Kingdom come on earth.