by Ellen Hsu, Alexis Sophie Kozak and Samita Limbu
Our team analyzed the overall impact of population, HDI (development of a country), and GDP on the ecological footprint per region in a global data set. We also compared different land uses to see which ones were creating a greater proportion of biodeficit or reserve.
(Two countries with outlier populations (> 350M), China and India, were not included on this graph. Their Earths Required are 1.95 and 0.67, respectively.)
We explored the relationship between HDI and Earths Required. The datapoints in the scatterplot represent countries. Colors represent different region and the size of the datapoint represents size of the population.
The figure shows that there is a gradual increase in Earths Required as the HDI increases. We used a linear regression model used to fit the relationship with R-squared value of 0.54
Region may have some impact on the Earths Required. However, the pattern is not as clear from the figure.
Population did not seem to impact Earths Required
Developed countries have a higher ecological footprint. If the HDI group consist of score >0.6 Then, the ecological footprint would be larger compared to groups with HDI score < 0.6.
If level of development in a country has no effect on ecological footprint, then the ecological footprint would be random across countries.
There was significant difference in the Total Eco Footprints among HDI groups (p-value 2.65e-29). This means the development of countries does have an impact on footprint.
The Independent T-Tests between HDI groups shows there was significant difference in the Total Eco Footprint in the range of HDI > 0.5 to HDI <= 0.8.
As many of you have guessed, it is the more developed countries that are overusing their resources, growing, building, creating more and more of a demand on Earth’s stretched resources.
It is not just a problem in the U.S., it is a problem across the world. It is with the lense of the Human Development Index and GDP per Capita - the defined measures of country development and wealth - that we see an influence on the world's ecological reserves.