HOBSON'S CHOICE

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The Independent Online
Number of the world's wealthiest individuals, whose net worth is equivalent to that of the poorest 50 per cent of the world's population:

447

Amount taken out of global assets by the collapse of Asian markets in the first six months of 1998:

$3.5 trillion

Worth, at current prices, of the oil and gas reserves in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan:

$2.75 trillion

Number of incidents of air rage on British Airways in 1997/8:

266

Amount of foreign investment in Morocco in 1996:

$311m

Amount sent back to their families by Moroccans working abroad in 1996:

$2,010m

Number of Taiwanese visiting the Kashmir Valley this year, the largest number of tourists from a foreign country:

1,049

Number of people in England and Wales who got malaria in 1971:

134

Number of people in England and Wales who got malaria in 1998:

1,110

Of the 2 million deaths from malaria (mainly children), every year in the world, average number in England and Wales:

7

Number of children in licensed orphanages in China:

1 million

Number of nurses and midwives in the UK in 1987:

514,600

Number of nurses and midwives in the UK today:

373,000

Average annual net income of a farm in England:

pounds 8,000

Percentage by which living costs in London are above the average for the UK:

18

Number of red crabs living on Christmas Island, at a density of 13,800 per hectare:

120 million

Number of red crabs on Christmas Island killed annually by cars:

1 million

Prescriptions of the drug Ritalin to children in the UK displaying Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder behaviour in 1991:

2,000

Prescriptions of Ritalin to children in the UK displaying ADHD behaviour in 1999:

100,000

SOURCES; UN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 1997, NYRB, THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, WANDERLUST, FOCUS, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, NEW STATESMAN, LONDON RESEARCH CENTRE, FOCUS, HARPER'S, WOMAN'S OWN.

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