September 2011

Reaching for the Sky

The skyscraper craze continues to spread across the globe due to the advent of technologies that allow for the construction of taller, stronger and lighter buildings. With skyscrapers often symbolic of shifting trends in global wealth and power, we wonder: Where is the world's tallest skyscraper located?

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Population Billionaires: China Vs. India

Together, China and India, with 1.35 billion and 1.24 billion people, respectively, contain nearly two out of every five people in the world — and together are equal in size to the entire world population in 1950. Although China and India are the world's only "population billionaires," they are on different demographic paths. We wonder: When will India's population growth exceed China's?

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Global Fertility Rates Compared

For most of human history, women's lives were largely shaped by pregnancy and nursing, with most women having numerous births. As recently as 1950, the global fertility rate stood at five children per woman. At that time, not a single country in the world had a fertility level below two children per woman. We wonder: How many countries now have a fertility level of less than two children per woman?

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