October 20, 2010 / 12:08 PM / 7 years ago

What better way to honor World Statistics Day?

BRUSSELS (Reuters Life!) - To celebrate the first World Statistics Day on Wednesday (20.10.2010), the European Union took the unusual step of issuing some more statistics.

In a new publication, the EU’s official statistics agency, Eurostat, has unveiled a welter of facts and figures that shed light on the European Union’s place in the world, and highlight a few interesting trends in other countries too.

With the world’s population reaching 6.9 billion this year, the EU and its 27 member states account for just 7 percent of the total, at 500 million people.

But economically the EU is far more powerful, with its gross domestic product of 12.5 trillion euros ($17.2 trillion) accounting for 30 percent of total global output, according to Eurostat.

For full access to the statistics, please click on: here

The United States comes second with 23 percent of the 41.2 trillion euro global production (using 2008 figures), Japan third (8 percent) and China fourth (7 percent), although China’s rapid growth is expected to catapult it into second place behind the United States for individual economies this year.

Demographic trends are also highlighted in the publication, including infant mortality rates, which have fallen sharply in the EU over the past 50 years, from 36 in every 1,000 live births in 1960 to 4.5 per 1,000 in 2008.

Turkey, which had the highest infant mortality rate among G20 countries in 1960 (176 per 1,000), now has one of the lower rates at 28, below South Africa (49) and India (55), and only marginally above China (23) Brazil (24) and Indonesia (27).

The share of the global population has also shifted quite dramatically over the past 50 years.

Whereas China accounted for 21.4 percent of the world’s population in 1960, that share fell to 19.6 percent in 2010, while India’s has grown from 14.8 to 17.6 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s has quadrupled, albeit it from a very low base, rising from 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent, while Russia’s has fallen sharply, halving from four to 2 percent.

The publication -- “The EU in the world -- a statistical portrait” -- also looks at social and environmental trends, including use of the Internet and mobile telephones, and the amount of energy consumed and CO2 emitted.

When it comes to the Internet, usage in the EU is three times the world average (64 people per 100 versus 21) but lags Asia, where South Korea tops the list at 77. The United States (72) and Canada (73) also have two of the highest rates.

On CO2 emissions, an area where the EU would like to see itself as a global leader, the figures show that the average EU citizen emitted 8.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2006 -- the latest available figures -- while the average American emitted 19.0.

The lowest emitters in the G20 were India (1.3), Indonesia (1.5) and Brazil (1.9).

But all the statistics would not be complete without Eurostat producing a portrait of the average EU citizen. According to the data, the average woman is 42 years old and works in public or social services, while the average man is 39 and works in market services.

So now you know.

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