U.S. and World Statistics

When I grew up in the 1970s, it was common knowledge that the U.S. had 5% of the world’s population, but used 50% of the world’s energy resources.

This has changed. We still have 5% of the world’s population, but our share of energy consumption is now about 25% and still declining. This is not because we’re conserving more energy. It is because the emerging nations like China, India, Brazil and Russia are using an ever-increasing share, and that presses back the size of our slice in the total energy pie.

Here is another statistic:

Today the U.S. still has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prisoners. That surprises me, and I don’t know why.

  • Do we breed more bad guys than other countries?
  • Do we incarcerate more people for stuff you can get away with in other countries?
  • Are our laws stricter?
  • Perhaps we imprison people for minor stuff that other countries just chuckle about, like possession of marijuana?

I  don’t have the answer.

We  always pride ourself of being an angel of freedom around the world. Except that we  take away the freedom of a disproportionate percentage of our own citizens by locking them up.


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