earth sciences and ecology question #718



Simon Robson, a 27 year old male from Durham, UK asks on March 23, 2002,

Q:

If the world's land was distributed evenly between all humans how much would we all possess? This also goes if it were done with gold, silver, oil, or platinum.

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the answer

Barry Shell answered on March 23, 2002, A:

For gold, I did a web search at www.google.com, on "total world gold reserves" and found a webpage at World.Gold.Org that lists the world's reserves as of March 2002 as 32,692.3 tonnes. One tonne is a million grams. Now you just have to divide this by the world's population which is about 6 billion and you get 5.45 grams per person. (There are about 28 grams in an ounce.)

You could do the same exercise with other elements like silver and platinum.

A similar websearch for land areas found this page on World Geography which claims the total world land area is 148.94 million sq km of which 10% is arable land. Doing all the calculations I come up with about 0.0025 sq km of useful land per person, or 2,500 square meters per person, which is a plot about 50x50 meters. So if all things were equal we would each have about half a soccer pitch and about a sixth of an ounce of gold.

Ian Wojtowicz answered on August 6, 2012, A:

Enough space for a  small farm and about US$225 in spending money.

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