Brain Pickings

Who Is The World’s Most Typical Person?

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In December, National Geographic released a fantastic teaser for 7 Billion, their ambitious series on overpopulation, delivering some jaw-dropping statistics in brilliantly animated kinetic typography. Today, they’re back with the second installment, which examines the same issue through a highly unusual lens: In a world of 7 billion people, who is the most “typical” person? The answer might surprise you.

The world’s most typical person is right-handed, makes less than $12,000 a year, has a cell phone but not a bank account. [...] Based on these traits, the world’s most typical person is a 28-year-old Chinese man. [...] But he won’t be typical for long. By 2030, that person will come from India, and typical is always relative.”

For an intelligent take on overpopulation, its implications for our not-at-all distant future and the opportunities that lie in it, we highly recommend David Christensen’s Two Elephants in the Room: Overpopulation and Opportunities We Overlook at Our Peril.

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