Malaysians are wild about soccer. Most Filipinos still have Spanish-influenced names. English is the most common language in Singaporean homes. Croissants, baguettes and coffee are still popular in Vietnam. All of these items are reflections of European colonialism. Yet, there is one country in Southeast Asia that was never a European colony. Can you name it?
While some regions of the world are grappling with the social and economic challenges of a “youth bulge,” other regions are facing the challenges of an aging population. We wonder: What is the median age of all the people alive on earth today?
According to the World Bank, “extreme poverty” is the condition in which a person is trying to survive on less than $1.90 per day. We wonder: What share of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lives in extreme poverty today?
Bangladesh was the smallest of the four countries to emerge out of British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent. Formerly known as East Pakistan, it has more people than either Russia or Japan. We wonder: Which of the following statements about today’s Bangladesh are true?
A. Its fertility rate is below the global average.
B. It is an integral part of global supply chains.
C. Media freedom is a big challenge.
D. It faces an imminent existential threat from climate change.
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States. On May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrants to the United States arrived, beginning a wave of Asian migration. Over 170 years later, Asian-Americans account for about 6.1% of the U.S. population (19.4 million people). We wonder: Which of the following statements about Asian-Americans are true?
A. Asian-Americans are better educated than the overall U.S. population.
B. They have a higher median income than the average U.S. household.
C. They hold relatively limited political power.
D. Asian-Americans include a diverse array of heritages.
First invented in the 1860s and developed for industry in the 1920s, plastic production exploded in the 1940s, when it became one of the fastest-growing global industries. We wonder: Which of the following statements is true about the global plastics industry today?
A. Annual global plastics production amounts to nearly 300 million tons.
B. The average American or European consumes about 100 kilograms of plastic a year.
C. China takes in more than half of worldwide waste plastic each year.
D. Millions of tons of plastics end up in landfills and oceans each year.
Over the last 30 years, China’s economy has grown annually at an average rate of 10%. That is a period of growth that no other country in history has ever matched. The poorest country in the world in terms of per capita income in 1952, China has now leaped over many other countries. Which country’s current income level is most similar to China’s?
700 millions Indians — close to one-tenth of the global population — recently had to contend with a power blackout. Despite high rates of population and economic growth, much of the world still views India as a small player in the global energy market. We wonder: Which of the following statements about India’s energy are true?
The days of colonialism are long gone in Southeast Asia. But the influence of faraway cultures can still be seen in former colonies. Malaysians are crazy about soccer, as Indonesians are about badminton. Most Filipinos still have Spanish names. Croissants, baguettes and coffee are still popular in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Yet, there is one country in Southeast Asia that was never a colony. Can you name it?
India faces a 40% population increase between now and 2050, when there will be nearly 1.7 billion Indians. There are increasing concerns in India itself about what effects this rapid growth will have on the country's development. We wonder: How many of India's states each have a larger population than the entire United Kingdom, India's former colonizer?