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Destroying the Planet, Part II

Over the weekend, we provided a graphic illustration of how much of the planet you could eliminate for a “budget” of 5 percent of global GDP. But what if, instead of having 5 percent to work with, you instead had 23.4 percent, or about 14.3 trillion dollars, which was the United States’ share of world GDP in 2008 as according to the International Monetary Fund?

It turns out that you could wipe out 5.3 billion people for this amount: all of Africa except Libya, all of South America except Venezuela, Mexico and the Rest of Central America, China, Southeast Asia (except Taiwan and Hong Kong), the Indian Subcontinent, all of Central Asia, most of Eastern Europe, and quite a few tiny Pacific Islands.

Note that a few countries, like Cuba and Somalia, survive here merely because the IMF does not publish data on them, but they’re generally impoverished and it probably would not be too much trouble to rid yourself of those ones too.

Nate Silver founded and was the editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.