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Global Economics

Correlations: Unsustainable Consumption of Raw Materials

The world consumed 77 billion tons of raw materials in 2008, which the United Nations says could lead to “an unsustainable future.” The conventional wisdom on economic development holds that wealthier nations use resources more efficiently. Yet a study from the University of New South Wales that measures the material footprint of 186 countries, or how much of the world’s resources they use, concludes that a rich economy’s consumption does not grow more efficient as its wealth increases.



Applegate is a contributing graphics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow him on Twitter @evanapplegate.

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