Magazine edition: 2019-1

Article title:

The facts

Published on


On the brink?: UNA-UK lets facts and figures speak for themselves


  • 20 companies are responsible for 35% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 70% of today’s emissions could be eliminated with readily available technological solutions.
  • Nearly one million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction.
  • The shift to a greener economy could create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030. However, 800 million people could lose their jobs to automation by 2030.
  • One-third of Earth’s surface land and nearly three-quarters of our freshwater is used for crop and livestock production.


  • The world population will peak at 11 billion in 2100 due to the declining global fertility rate, which has halved since 1950.
  • By 2050, there will be more older people than adolescents and youths (ages 15–24).
  • Nearly half the world’s population use social media.
  • International migrants make up 3% of the global population.

Conflict and Violence

  • In 2016, more countries experienced violent conflict than at any point in almost 30 years.
  • In 2017, crime killed 464,000 people. Armed conflicts killed 89,000. Terrorist attacks killed 19,000


  • The income share of the poorest 20% of humanity has barely shifted since 1990, despite global economic output more than tripling.
  • The top 1% of income earners captured 27% of total income growth since 1990 while the bottom 50% of income earners captured 12%


  • Around 55% of the world’s population lives in towns and cities. It is projected to be nearly 70% by 2050.

Sources: UN’s 75th anniversary “issue briefs” (; Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; No time to wait: securing the future from drug resistant infections, Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance; Climate Accountability Institute.