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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 24 September 2020

The 'typical' human speaks Mandarin and lives in the city

National Geographic number crunches the stats on Earth’s seven billion people to come up with profile of the world’s ‘typical’ person.

Chinese people are the most populous in the world's population
Chinese people are the most populous in the world's population
Image: PA Images/Fan jiashan

FOUR OUT OF five people in the world are literate and over half of them live in urban areas. The figures have emerged from a National Geographic study of the life of the “typical” person on planet Earth.

Their analysis of statistics for the seven billion people currently living on the planet found that 13 per cent speak Mandarin as their first language; 5 per cent speak Spanish and 5 per cent speak English.

Other figures include:

  • Nationality – 19 per cent of Chinese; 17 per cent are Indian amd 4 per cent are American
  • Religion – 33 per cent are Christian; 21 per cent are Muslim; 13 per cent are Hindu
  • Livelihood – 40 per cent work in services; 38 per cent in agriculture; 22 per cent in industry
  • Urban v rural – 51 per cent of people live in urban environments; 49 per cent in rural areas
  • Literacy – 82 per cent of the world’s people can read and write.

The National Geographic Society has also commissioned the creation of a composite image of what the most ‘typical’ face is which represents the majority of the human race. The image was created at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, where photos were collected over the course of ten years from several national technology research programmes across the globe.

Look at the world’s most ‘typical’ face here at the National Geographic>

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