I try to wake up every day with at least a little optimism that things are going to go well and that the world is inherently a good place to live. I try to do things everyday that keep me happy and don’t let the cynic inside me take over. It can be really hard sometimes, but I think the human race as a whole generally tries to see the good that is being done over the bad. Some days are harder than others though. Negativity in the media at every turn can make it extremely difficult to feel positive about any current events. Everything is all doom and gloom nowadays. Have we ever taken a step back and looked at the fact that…..well maybe everything is? We have a lot of problems in our world today that people, either don’t know about or, just don’t seem to care about. So I hope you’re in a good mood today, because I’m about to drop 25 super depressing world facts that are going to make you wonder why we get out of bed in the morning.
1. 210 million orphans currently exist on planet earth. For comparison, the population of the United States is 318 million, that is around 2/3’s of the population of the United States.
2. Maybe even more depressing is the fact that 15% of the these poor children will commit suicide by 18.
3. WWII was one of the biggest mass losses of life in human history. Unfortunately, it was civilians who paid the highest price. 75% of the people killed during WWII were civilians. That equates to around 50 million people.
4. Many children around the world live in conditions that we would see as downright deplorable. Living in poverty comes with so many challenges, which include keeping yourself healthy. 22,000 children die every day because of living in poverty.
5. So many people in our world are living in absolutely vile conditions, it really is shocking when you think about it. Here is something else that is shocking, a standard cow in Europe receives a $2.20 a day subsidy. That cow makes more than 1.2 billion of the worlds poorest people. Starting to hate yourself yet?
6. It is no secret how lopsided and archaic the U.S. Correctional System is. The United States locks up more of its own citizens than any other nation on earth. Ever wonder about how much that costs? Well the United States spends about $200 billion on the correctional system each year. This amount is more than the gross domestic product of 25 states, and 140 countries!
7. Illegal slavery is the biggest industry on the planet, and it has been for quite some time. It is also a big, and terrible part of American history. Did you know that at least 10 times as many girls are trafficked into brothels annually in present times compared to African slaves who were transported to the Americas during the peak years of the slave trade?
8. Getting old sucks, but for a lot of us we really don’t anticipate having to deal with any of the struggles associate with old age until we are into our 60’s or 70’s. That may not be the case however, as your brain actually starts to deteriorate when you are 27. I’ve got one more good year left!
9. The U.S. military budget has always been a hotly debated topic, and rightfully so. The United States spends more money on the military than the next 7 countries combined together. Compared to what the funding is for an agency that could potentially help relocate us to a different planet, its staggering. The United States spends $20.2 billion on air conditioning alone in Iraq and Afghanistan. That, by itself, is more than NASA’s entire budget.
10. Wasted food is a huge problem throughout the world. Even just thinking about how much food fast food restaurants throw away on a daily basis is shocking. Magnify that by however many times and you can start to see how this could be a problem. This isn’t just a problem in rich countries that have an excess of food. In rich and poor countries alike, a whopping 30-50% of the food produced just rots away uneaten. I knew this was a problem, but that is crazy.
11. It’s no secret that 1st world countries live in a tremendous amount of excess. But this figure is staggering. 80% of the world lives on less than $10 per day. I spend $10 on lunch pretty regularly.
12. We all like to think that we generously give to make a difference in others lives and to help our fellow-man, it’s simply not true. Studies done by the University of Kent shows that the reasons are purely selfish. The majority of people who donate to different causes and charities do so to feel good about themselves. Seriously depressing…
13. I don’t know what prompted NASA engineers to do this study, but the findings are fairly disturbing and just plain cruel. NASA found that around 60 out of 1000 drivers would willingly go out of their way to hit an animal on the road. Don’t worry, they used fake animals.
14. Vaccines and cures for common ailments are among the most prestigious accomplishments man kind has ever had. Prolonging human life has been one of the major goals of our species for our entire existence. That is what makes this next fact so sad and depressing. 2 million children die every year from preventable diseases because they cannot afford the treatments. What are we doing with ourselves that we let this happen?
15. Without electricity I wouldn’t have my job right now, pure and simple. You also wouldn’t be able to look at this article, surf on Facebook or countless other activities that we enjoy in our modern society. That is the reality for a quarter of the people on the planet however, as 1/4 of the planet lives without electricity on a daily basis.
16. Water is life. It’s a reality for everyone on the planet, if you don’t have water you are going to have a rough go of it. Well that is exactly the reality that 1.2 billion people on the planet live with everyday. That is the amount of people who live in places without an adequate water supply.
17. Not having access to water is depressing enough, but what about having access to it and just not being able to get it? 1.6 billions people live this nightmare everyday. These people live in places where water is available, but they simply can’t afford to get it. Still think your bottle of water is worth that $1?
18. Shipping by way of sea is how most of the world goods and resources are taken from point A to point B. The water is such an important aspect of our world, but apparently we don’t realize that. We allow cargo ships and cruise liners to dump 14 billion pounds of garbage into our oceans every year.
19. When you think of a homeless person, what comes to mind? An old haggard looking man or woman who hasn’t had a shower in a few months, probably an unkempt beard, hair or both? Well this stat may change your perspective a little bit. An astonishing 34% of the homeless population in the United states are young people under the age of 24.
20. Child labor has been almost completely abolished in 1st world countries. However, there are still many areas of the world that profit greatly from forced child labor. 250 million children world-wide between the ages of 5 and 15 are currently working under forced labor conditions. Imagine what you were doing at 5. Probably not forced labor for pennies an hour.
21. Children in Africa have many obstacles to overcome just from the situations many of them are born into. Imagine being just young child and having a gun thrust into your hand and told that you must kill your family or you and they would be killed anyway? This is the terrible life that 300,000 child soldiers around the world face every day.
22. The death penalty is a very divisive issue around the world. Most of the modern world has abolished the death penalty. Still, 1591 people were executed in 2006, and 91% of those executions occurred in the United States, China, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq.
23. Pregnancy is a difficult time for any women, no matter the circumstances. Things go wrong even when women have every medical advantage science can think of. When women don’t have access to some of the most basic things needed to help fuel a healthy pregnancy, things can take a very sad turn. 315,000 women every year die during childbirth because of malnutrition and lacking of basic nutrients.
24. The overall number of hungry people in the world is astronomical. 805 million people go hungry everyday. Not surprisingly, 98% of them live in 3rd world and underdeveloped countries. Many of them are also children.
25. After all this, our last depressing fact is literally about depression. 350 million people around the world struggle with depression everyday. It isn’t something I would wish on upon anyone else.
Our world faces many problems today that cannot be fixed anytime soon. Governments and aid groups can only do so much to help the many, many people who are in need everyday. As someone who tries to look at the good that happens everyday, it seems to me that if we all gave something of ourselves for the better of our fellow-man, that we could really do some good in the short-term. Don’t let these depressing world facts discourage you from seeing the good in every day people. It’s never to late to change yourself for the better.