Humanity By the Numbers: The Miniature Earth video

Many of us trying to grasp the details of the lives of the more than 6 1/2 billion other humans around the world can feel our brains melting at the attempt. It’s challenging enough for some to empathize with our immediate neighbors and community members, but with 6+ BILLION of them?

That’s why tools like The Miniature Earth are so useful. This little video helps viewers connect with others by distilling and quantifying humanity into numbers and ideas that are easier on our brains — and more likely to inspire us to think critically and compassionately about others.

The video uses Donella Meadows’ “State of the Village Report,” in which she reduced Earth’s human population to 100 people, and, keeping the same proportions, calculated statistics such as ethnicities, religions, income distributions, and so on. The information for The Miniature Earth video has been adapted and updated.

Viewers can imagine themselves as one of the hundred. Would they be…

  • One of the 9 disabled?
  • The one with HIV/AIDS?
  • One of the 67 non-Christians?
  • One of the 43 without basic sanitation?
  • One of the 6 that own 59% of the entire wealth of the community?
  • One of the 7 educated at a secondary level?
  • One of the 97 without Internet access?
  • One of the 71 living on $2 a day or less?

The images are moving, and the statistics included provide excellent opportunities for discussion with friends and family or for educating others about human rights and social justice issues. It also serves as a good reminder to all of us to remember to be grateful for all that we have.

~ Marsha