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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Living Planet Report

New Zealand has about 6-7 hectares per person (15 people per square km) and is the 193rd country by density. In other words, there is virtually nobody living here compared to our land mass. Only 4 of the 30 OECD nations have lower population densities: Australia, Canada, Iceland and Norway. All of these countries have large areas of desert or tundra that are almost uninhabitable. So basically no other developed country has as much usable space per person as we do.

The Living Planet Report shows that if the world was shared out equally, each person would have 1.8 hectares at their disposal. However the report also shows that the material demands of the average American requires more than 9 hectares per person (even though they only have 3.2 hectares each in USA). So that means that the average American is using 3 times more resources than could be produced within their own country. It also means that if New Zealanders lived like Americans we couldn't even sustain ourselves in the most spacious western country on the planet: New Zealand. Go figure....


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