Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Seven Billion People

Tags:  population; unaddressed; universal address system; Univeral Postal Union (UPU),  An Address for Everyone

This week the population of the world topped 7 billion people according to U.N. estimates.  Last week Charles Prescott gave a presentation titled Toward a Universal Address System.  The two, taken together, struck my fancy.  So,

Envision a system in which every one of those 7 billion has an address.  No one knows how many people do not have an address.  As Charles points out, the UN Development Program estimates that the number of “unaddressed people” might be as high as 4 billion people.  And that number is growing with the population growth.
 
No one knows how addresses would change the world but there might be…
…more participation in economic and civil society.
…more literacy.
…more economic growth.
…less dire poverty.
…less starvation, hunger, and food insecurity.

Why might this happen?  Because an address validates who you are to governments and businesses.  An address allows you to participate in the fundamental activities of society:  go to school, drive a car, start a business, vote in elections, open a bank account, establish financial credit, buy a mobile phone...
 
The population of the world is increasingly urban.  A higher proportion of the world population now lives in Africa and Latin America and a smaller proportion from Europe and North American.  The population is getting older because people are living longer but the median age is 28 years.  There are slightly more men than women, very slightly.  Literacy is increasing.

 Find out more about An Address for Everyone.