There are an estimated 6.8 billion people on this planet at the time of this blog post. There will be 5 billion cell phone subscriptions by the end of this year. Granted some people have several, most have 1.
To put this in perspective 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water (WHO/UNICEF [pdf]). The same report notes 2.5 billion “are without improved sanitation”. Roughly 1.17 billion (18% of the 6.5 billion population in 2006) still use “open defecation” or to put it in more crude terms, they crap in the woods, fields, streams, and rivers under the open sky.
There’s something a little disturbing about these trends. In my ideal world more people will always have access to toilets that don’t contaminate their own drinking water than use cell phones.