50 Facts to Make You Want to Change The World!
1 THE average Japanese woman can expect to live to
84; her counterpart in Botswana will die at 39.
2 BLACK men born in the US stand a one-in-three chance of going to
jail. For white men the odds are one in 17.
3 ONE in five of the world's population is undernourished.
4 NEARLY half of British 15 year-olds have tried illegal drugs and
nearly a quarter are regular cigarette smokers.
5 CHILDREN living in poverty are three times more likely
to suffer mental illness than children from wealthy families.
6 EIGHTY-ONE per cent of the world's executions in
2002 took place in just three countries: China, Iran and the USA.
7 SUPERMARKETS in the UK know more about their customers than the
government does. They use loyalty cards to determine your income and
your interests are.
8 EVERY cow In the EU is subsidised by £1.40 a day - three out
of four Africans have less than that to live on.
9 SAME-SEX relationships are illegal in more than 70 countries. In
nine - including Afghanistan,
Iran and Saudi Arabia - the penalty is death.
10 EVERY hour, UK households throw away enough rubbish to fill the
Royal Albert Hall.
11 THERE are 27 million slaves in the world.
12 A THIRD of the world's population is at war. In
2002, 30 countries were fighting in 37 armed conflicts - a combined
population of 2.29 billion people.
13 THE UK has the second highest rate of teen
pregnancies in the developed world, behind the US. There are 30.8
births for every 1,000 teenagers. Teenage mothers are twice as likely
to live in poverty.
14 ONE in five people live on less than 50p a day.
15 THERE are 44 million child labourers in India, some
working 16-hour days.
16 PEOPLE in industrialised countries eat between six and seven kilograms
of food additives every year. A ham sandwich can contain up to 13
17 GOLFER Tiger Woods is the world's highest-paid
sportsman, earning £44 million a year, including £30,000
a day for wearing Nike caps - which Thai
workers get £2.20 a day to make.
18 EVERY week an average 88 children are expelled from US schools
for carrying a gun.
19 LANDMINES kill or maim one person every hour.
20 THERE are at least 300,000 prisoners of
conscience, often held in appalling conditions, sometimes tortured,
simply for peacefully expressing their own beliefs.
21 CARS kill two people every 1 minute.
22 THE US owes the United Nations £1bn in unpaid
dues. Yet it spends the same amount on its military programme every
23 hours. |
23 TWENTY-SIX million people voted in the 2001
UK General Election. More than 32 million votes
were cast in the first series of Pop Idol.
24 IN Kenya, bribery payments make up a third of the
average household budget.
25 THE world's trade in illegal drugs is estimated
be worth around £225bn - about the same as the world's pharmaceutical
26 T0 fly a kiw1 fruit from New Zealand to the UK
means five times its weight in greenhouse gases being pumped into
27 MORE than 150 countries are known to use torture.
28 AMERICANS spend £5.6bn on pornography every
year - the same amount their government spends on
29 THE average urban Briton is caught on
camera 300 times a day. With 10 per cent of the world's 30 million
CCTV cameras, we are the most
watched nation in the world.
30 IN 2001, 13.2 million 30 Americans and 2.5 million Britons had
31 BRAZIL has more Avon ladies than members of its
armed forces. Physical beauty is so highly prized that calling someone
vain is a compliment.
32 EIGHTY-TWO per cent of the world's smokers live
In developing countries.
33 The World's oil reserves could be exhausted by 2040.
34 MORE than 70 per cent of the world's population
has never heard a dial tone. In Africa just one in 40 people has a
35 A QUARTER of the world's armed conflicts of
recent years have involved a struggle for natural resources.
36 ALMOST 30 million Africans are HIV-positive.
By 2050 the disease may have claimed as many as 280 million lives.
37 TEN languages die out every year.
38 MORE people die from suicide than in armed
conflicts. In the past 45 years, suicide rates have grown by 60 per
39 SEVEN million American women and one million
American men suffer from an eating disorder.
40 THERE are 67,000 people employed in the
lobbying industry in Washington - 125 for each member of Congress.
41 SINCE 1977, there have been 80,000 acts of violence or disruption
at abortion clinics In North America.
42 THERE are 300,000 child soldiers fighting
in conflicts around the world.
43 MORE people can identify the golden arches of McDonald's than the
Christian cross. The same goes for the Shell oil logo, the Mercedes
badge and the Olympic rings.
44 A THIRD of the world's obese people live in the developing world.
Campaigners blame Western
countries for dumping cheap, processed, fatty
foods on poorer nations.
45 IN 2003, the US spent $379bn on its military. This was 22 times
the combined military spending of the seven "rogue states"
- Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
46 MORE than 12,000 women are killed in Russia every year as a result
of domestic violence.
47 SIXTY-ONE per cent of British teenagers believe
aliens have landed on Earth, while 39 per cent have any belief in
48 TWO million girls and women are subjected to
genital mutilation every year.
49 IN China, as a result of the preference for sons over daughters
and the country's one-child-per-farmly law, there are 44 million fewer
women than men.
50 SOME 120,000 women and girls are trafficked
into Western Europe every year. The UN estimates the trade is worth
£4bn a year.
Taken from 50 Facts That Should Change The
World by Jessica Waiiams (£9.99, icon