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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

Maps of Inequity Among the World’s Seven Billion People

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

The World of Seven Billion: Where and How We Live

My household just received the latest issue of National Geographic, which contains a massive pull-out poster showing "a composite face of the world’s most typical person" as the total world population nears seven billion people.

The portrait is fascinating to ponder, but it’s the poster’s back side featuring a comparative chart of the world that presents some striking differences and disparities. The mapmakers have categorized the world’s populations into four groups of annual income-earners: low-income ($995 or less), lower middle ($995-$3,945), upper middle ($3,946-$12,195), and high (more than $12,196). Then they highlight selected statistics — birth rates, number of cars, fertility and net migration rates, and others — and show the differences among the four groups through more data.

The father of two boys under the age of five, I found the disparity among the fatality rates of children age five and under absolutely gut-wrenching: low-income families see 120 deaths per 1,000 live births whereas high-income families only experience seven deaths. It’s tragic, but even bumping those low-income earners over the $1,000 dollar threshold into the lower middle class halves the number of deaths. For more, check out an interactive version of this map on NatGeo’s site.


What Will the Muslim Population Look Like in 2030?

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Projected Distribution of Muslim Population by Country and Territory in 2030
Projected distribution of Muslim population by country and territory in 2030. Click image for higher resolution version with data. (source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)

A study released this week by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life titled "The Future of the Global Muslim Population" is worthwhile reading for many reasons, if not simply for the informational graphs and some of the bullet points in the executive summary:

  • By 2030, Pakistan is expected to surpass Indonesia as the country with the single largest Muslim population;
  • In 20 years, more Muslims are likely to live in Nigeria than in Egypt;
  • The Muslim birth rate is shrinking but still growing significantly faster than the non-Muslim population (twice the rate);
  • The Palestinian territories are the exception to the rule when it comes to the number of years of education (14 years) for women and the average number of children born (4.5 per female). Fertility rates in nine countries with a Muslim majority where women receive the most years of education average 2.3 children per female.

Education and Fertility in Muslim-Majority Countries
(source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)

What are other points that stood out out to you? What does it mean?