from the Washington Post, 7/31/99
THE 6 BILLIONTH BABY
Population experts expect that between now and the end of the year, a newborn somewhere will be the 6 billionth human on Earth. Many factors will affect the health and development of that child, and in many cases will predetermine the baby's future. That future is likely to be considerably brighter if this baby is born in an industrialized country than if he or she is born in the developing world.
If the child is born in Switzerland, she is likely to live to age 82; and if a boy, to age 75. But if born in Sierra Leone, she is likely to live to age 39; and if a boy, to 36.
If the child is born in the Netherlands, he runs a risk of 1% of not living to his fifth birthday and a 9% risk of not seeing his 60th. If born in Niger, he runs a risk of 8% of not living to see his fifth birthday, and a 36% risk of not seeing his 40th.
If the child is born in Austria, she will be 100% certain to grow up with access to safe drinking water and sanitation. If born in Afghanistan, she will have only a 21% chance of access to safe water and a 1% chance of access to sanitation.
If the child is born in the United States, he will likely live in a family with more than $21,541 annual income. If born in Uganda, he would likely live in a family with about $602 annual income (based on GDP per person).
If the child is born in Sweden, she will run a 7% risk of being functionally illiterate as an adult. If born in Senegal, she will run a 65% risk of being illiterate as an adult.
If the child is born in Belgium, he will have available to him 3,543
calories a day and 102 grams of protein (average availability, not actual
consumption because it includes waste). If born in Bolivia, he will have
available to him 2,170 calories a day and 56 grams of protein.
(Availability of 2,000 calories or less is considered a severe shortage,
availability of 2,000-2,300 calories a day is considered shortage.)
If the child is born in Canada, she will live as one of 8 people sharing one square mile of land. If born in China, she will live as one of 327 people sharing one square mile of land.
If the child is born in Italy, he will likely live in a city, as 90% of the Italians do. If born in India, he will likely live in a rural area because 72% of the Indians do.
(Figures adapted from sources: U.N. Human Development Report, Population
Reference Bureau, and World Almanac)