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Society and Globalization

How do different societies around the world deal with global change?

October 3, 2006

How do different societies around the world deal with global change?

Few societies around the world have gone untouched by the myriad influences of globalization. And while global integration creates many new opportunities for individuals and societies as a whole, it also poses new challenges. Our Globalist Factsheet takes a closer look at how different societies are adapting to globalization.

How fast is the world’s population growing?

As of 2006, the world population stands at 6.5 billion people — and will grow to seven billion in about six years. Ninety-nine percent of this growth will be in developing countries.

(Population Reference Bureau)

Which important turning point will the world reach soon?

By 2007, the majority of the world’s population will live in cities for the first time in human history.

(United Nations Population Division)

How many people are on the move via airplane?

The world’s airlines carried a total of 1.7 billion passengers — or the equivalent of 25% of the global population, as of 2003. Of this total, over 500 million people traveled on international flights and more than one billion on domestic flights.

(International Civil Aviation Organization)

Is China’s booming economy leading to new trends in global tourism?

The number of Chinese tourists going abroad — at 16.6 million — outnumbered that of tourists from Japan for the first time in 2002.

(World Tourism Organization)

How are different societies positioning themselves to compete globally?

While China made English classes starting in grade school mandatory in 2002, English classes in Mexico are still an optional part of the curriculum.

(Business Week)

Are some parts of the world cut off from the Internet?

Less than 2% of the population of the Middle East had access to the Internet as of 2004.

(The 9/11 Commission Report)

Which are the world’s major religions?

Of the world’s major religions, Christianity has the most adherents, with two billion worldwide. Islam is second, with 1.2 billion followers around the world, Hinduism third (750 million) — and Buddhism fourth (500 million).


Does Hollywood really trump Bollywood?

India was the top film-producing nation in the world, with 1,200 films — more than the next four countries combined. The United States ranked second, with 543 films, as of 2002.

(New York Times Book Review)

What has been the impact of the population boom in developing countries?

The number of people younger than 24 years of age in developing countries today is larger than the entire world population was 50 years ago.

(Washington Post)

Which country leads the way in allowing young people to vote?

Iran’s voting age is 15 — the youngest in the world.

(Inter-Parliamentary Union)

Is the eradication of child labor feasible?

The cost of ending global child labor would be around $760 billion over the next 20 years. This would require creating enough school places — and replacing the lost income that children provide to their families.

(The Economist)

What challenge continues to loom large in the education arena?

As of 2004, the world average for adult illiteracy is 20.6%.

(Washington Post)

How has drug use contributed to the spread of AIDS in Russia?

In Russia, estimated HIV cases now surpass those in all of North America — and 75% of new infections are attributable to intravenous drug use.

(Open Society Institute)

Just how much of a melting pot is the United States?

The United States is home to a total of 37 different national ancestries with more than one million people each.

(U.S. Census Bureau)

Do the French know how to live the good life?

The French work an average of 1,453 hours a year — about 150 hours behind the European average and nearly 350 hours behind the U.S. average.


How enamored are some societies with their cell phones?

The Philippines’ 84 million citizens send an average of 200 million text messages daily — which averages to 2.4 text messages per person per day.

(Business Week)

And finally, who may be hit worst by one of the scourges of the information society — junk e-mail?

Bill Gates, the Chairman of Microsoft, receives four million pieces of email a day — most of it junk mail.

(USA Today)