Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Numbers

My September 23 entry on Numbers got good reviews, so I looked forward to the next slow news day as an excuse to assemble another list of numbers. Every picture tells a story, they say. Some numbers tell pretty vivid stories as well.

$9.6 Billion
Amount of money Warren Buffet has lost in his investment holdings in 2008.

$52 Billion
Current value of Warren Buffet’s holdings.

$3 Billion
The current value of Rupert Murdoch’s holdings after losing $3.9 billion in 2008.

1500
Number of employees Yahoo last week announced they will lay off.

7200
Number of workers Merck is laying off in its current restructuring.

24
Number of megacities over eight million in 2004.

1
Number of cites of this size in 1950.

300,000
Population of Lagos in 1950.

13,500,000
Current population of Lagos, Nigeria.

193,800,000
Number of Chinese currently living in urban slums.

35,600,000
Number of Pakistanis currently living in urban slums.

84.7
Percentage of population of Bangladesh living in slums.

5.8
Current percent of U.S. population living in urban slums.

99.4
Percentage of Ethiopians living in slum conditions.

200,000
Estimated number of slum communities in the world today.

4
Number, in millions, of people living in Mexico City’s largest megaslum in 2005.

320
Number of children per thousand who die before age five in Luanda, Angola.

34
Number of inner city slums in Karachi, Pakistan.

66
Number of Karachi slums on the city’s periphery.

107,000
Number of people evicted from slums in Hong Kong in 1950.

In addition to the problems of overcrowding, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, the poor must deal with the constant insecurity of not owning their homes. In recent years, enforced evictions by the State have caused untold disruption in countless lives. Here are some numbers from a few famously awful slum evictions of the past two decades.

1988 ~ Seoul, Korea… 800,000
1990 ~ Lagos, Nigeria… 300,000
1995-96 ~ Rangoon, Burma… 1,000,000
1995 ~ Beijing, China… 100,000
2001-03 ~ Jakarta, Indonesia… 500,000
2005 ~ Harare, Zimbabwe… 750,000
2007-08 ~ Beijing, China… 350,000

Less than 300
Number of toilet seats available to the 480,000 people in 1100 Delhi slum settlements.

Sources
Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2008.
Planet of Slums, Mike Davis
Elements of a slum for the purposes of this report: Overcrowding, poor or informal housing, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, and insecurity of tenure.

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