Most Shared

A map of the world that'll make you do *at least* a quadruple take.

Trust me, your eyes are fine. There's a reason this map looks the way it does.

A map of the world that'll make you do *at least* a quadruple take.

This is a map of the world from Worldmapper that is weighted by wealth distribution. There's a lot going here, but here are some of the things that really jump out at me.


1. I live in the richest country in the world: the United States.

I also happen to live in one of the richest metropolitan areas (pictured below).

Image by Mital Patel, used with permission.

The U.S. may be bursting with wealth, but it's also the most unequal among advanced economies, with three-fourths of the country's wealth under the control of the richest 10%.

2. Africa is reduced to a shriveled sprig.

Image by Irene2005/Flickr.

The vast majority of the wealth in Africa is contained in just a handful of countries (although there are ~53 countries in Africa), which explains what looks like a death grip on the world's poorest countries in the sub-Sahara. Those poorer countries have been experiencing economic growth in recent years as the wealthy world throws money at their natural resources. But the mix of resource-richness and corruption makes for what some call a "resource curse" that can make inequality worse.

3. Europe has a lot of money too.

Image by Carsten Frenzl/Flickr.

The International Monetary Fund lists the European Union as the fifth-richest country group. And inequality is on the rise throughout the region, even in Scandinavian countries known for their more equal wealth shares.

4. Asia is dominated by three countries.

Image by Sthitaprajna Jena/Flickr.

On the map, China, Japan, and India all but swallow their neighbors as the second, third, and 10th largest economies in the world, respectively. And like their wealthy Western counterparts, all three countries are becoming more unequal over time.

5. Wealth distribution doesn't correlate with population distribution.

This is another of Worldmapper's maps of the world weighted by relative population. The world population is currently just over 7 billion. One-third of the world lives in two rich but increasingly unequal countries I've already mentioned: China and India.

Population growth, however, is highest in developing (read: extremely poor) regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By 2050, the world population is projected to rise to 9.5 billion (a 33% increase over 36 years).

This may all seem like a confusing string of information, but the point is really simple: A growing population and rising inequality are a dangerous combination, and it can't just get worse forever.

Learn more: 12 diagrams that show why more equal societies almost always do better.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.