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Global Trends Quiz


World in the Balance homepage

Populations in both rich and poor nations are on a course to change dramatically in the coming decades. These changes could radically impact economies as well as have enormous consequences for local and global environments. In the following quiz, explore what may lie ahead.

Definition of Regions
Throughout the quiz, "more developed" and "developed" refer to all of Europe and North America, plus Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. "Less developed" and "developing" refer to all other regions and countries. This classification system is used by the United Nations.


Population Trends In the Developed World (7 questions)

1. At "replacement-level fertility," the average couple has only enough children to replace itself, or about two children. Which developed countries have above replacement-level fertility?

  1. Italy & France
  2. United States
  3. none

2. Where is a woman's life expectancy the highest in the world?

  1. Japan
  2. Kenya
  3. United States

3. How many people living in the developed world are 60 years or older?

  1. 1 out of 10
  2. 1 out of 5
  3. 1 out of 3

4. While many Americans aged 65 and older live with spouses, what percentage live with grown children or other extended-family members?

  1. 15 percent
  2. 20 percent
  3. 70 percent

5. By 2035, how many working-age adults (15-64) will there be to support each elder (65 and over) in the developed world?

  1. 2.5
  2. 4.7
  3. 7.4

6. In 1995 the payroll tax rate in the U.S. was 15.8 percent. According to economist Peter Peterson, what would the payroll tax rate need to be in 2030 to cover current retirement promises?

  1. 31.9 percent
  2. 53.2 percent
  3. 71.5 percent

7. What percentage of people living in the U.S. were born in other nations?

  1. 2.5 percent
  2. 11 percent
  3. 14 percent


Population Trends In the Developing World (8 questions)

1. To project future populations, the United Nations Population Division (UNPD) makes assumptions about fertility rates. If today's rates do not change, what will the population of developing nations be in 2050?

  1. 7.7 billion
  2. 9.3 billion
  3. 11.6 billion

2. For a baby born in India in 1881, life expectancy was a mere 25 years. What is it today?

  1. 48 years
  2. 60 years
  3. 63 years

3. How has the fertility rate, or average number of children per woman, changed in the past 50 years in the less developed world, excluding China?

  1. increased from 7.7 to 8.0
  2. plummeted from 6.1 to 3.3
  3. decreased from 6.1 to 5.2

4. What is the link between women's education and family size?

  1. Educated women have smaller families.
  2. no link
  3. Educated women have larger families.

5. What percentage of married women in India use contraception to limit family size?

  1. less than 10 percent
  2. 48 percent
  3. 70 percent

6. How many women in the developing world died in 2000 of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth?

  1. 136,000
  2. 253,000
  3. 527,000

7. How many young people between the ages of 0 and 14 are there in the developing world?

  1. 200 million
  2. 550 million
  3. 1.6 billion

8. What percent of people in the developing world live in urban settings?

  1. 14 percent
  2. 40 percent
  3. 76 percent


The Environmental Challenge (9 questions)

1. Most environmental damage caused by people in the developed world is attributable to:

  1. automobiles
  2. industrial pollutants
  3. high consumption patterns

2. North Americans consume how much more energy per person than Africans?

  1. 2 times as much
  2. 8 times as much
  3. 15 times as much

3. How many cars are there in China for every thousand people?

  1. 15 cars
  2. 200 cars
  3. 600 cars

4. While wealth and related high levels of consumption can lead to environmental damage, so too can poverty. Poor rural families are more likely, for example, to engage in slash-and-burn agriculture and pollute local water resources. What percent of the world's people lives on less than US$1 a day?

  1. 23 percent
  2. 70 percent
  3. 82 percent

5. Earth's freshwater resources are finite. If current consumption rates remain the same, what percent of annual available freshwater will the world's population use in 2025?

  1. 54 percent
  2. 70 percent
  3. 90 percent

6. How many people in the world today are chronically undernourished?

  1. 34 million
  2. 300 million
  3. 826 million

7. At the end of the 20th century, the average population density around the world was 45 people per sq. km. What was it in Bangladesh?

  1. 180
  2. 958
  3. 6,499

8. In the 1950's economist Simon Kuznets charted the relationship between industrialization and pollution. He found that as nations industrialize, pollution levels:

  1. rise steadily
  2. initially rise, then peak and decline
  3. rise slowly, then increase dramatically

9. "Carrying capacity" is the maximum number of animals of a species that a habitat can support indefinitely. What is Earth's carrying capacity for humans?

  1. 13.4 billion
  2. 33 billion
  3. It may be impossible to calculate.

Answers
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