Friday, March 1, 2013

By the Numbers


If you have not looked at population numbers for the countries of the world lately, or ever, it is time. A simple glance at the numbers illuminates all sorts of things about US foreign policy, why we go to war and where, and why we hear about some countries more than others.  It also shatters a lot of our preconceived notions about social, political, and economic dominance, our own self-import, and the idea that land mass has anything to do with population.  The top 15:

1. China
2. India
3. United States
4. Indonesia
5. Brazil
6. Pakistan
7. Bangladesh
8.  Nigeria
9. Russia
10. Japan
11. Mexico
12. Phillipines
14. Germany
15. Ethiopia

These are not predominantly Western or Christian countries.  Many of them have incredibly high population densities and incredibly low standards of living.  They have histories riddled with militarism, questionable human rights ethics, and war.  Ourselves included.  Two of them are African nations, which I only mention because of the American tendency to justify part of our ignorance of the African continent with the false belief that few people live there.  

Sometimes numbers speak for themselves.  Think about this list the next time you listen to or watch the news.  Think about it when looking at the kinds of stories that get covered, and especially those that get ignored or obscured.  Decide for yourself what you should be paying attention to.  

Start with the numbers.

Real Time Counters:

World Populations by Country:

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