The World Hunger map.

The World Hunger map.

Before creating, the World Hunger map, firstly, you need to decide about criteria that contribute towards hunger. Occurrence of those indicators around the world would be able to give you accurate results.

In general, hunger is defined as physical discomfort and pain, caused by deficiency or inadequate consumption of food. It is often a result of food insecurity.

So, what is food security? It is a sufficient access to variety of food products that would enable a person to live active and healthy life. There are four basic factors of food security:

Access to food,

Sufficient access to food products that are complying with food safety standards,

Stability of food supply,

Allowance to consume certain types of food, depending on culture and religion.

Food insecurity, simply means inaccessibility of food, related to inadequate, unstable supply, as well as shortage of commonly accepted food products in particular region. For people, it may lead to malnutrition, which is defined as deficiency of proteins, calories and microelements, such as vitamin A, zinc and iodine. Nutrients are extremely important during pregnancy and time of a child’s growth.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States Food has recently introduced an indicator called the Prevalence of Undernourishment, which is used to measure hunger around the world. The POU consists of few factors:

Estimated food availability within a country, per person,

Estimated food distribution level between households, within a country,

Estimated minimum calories intake, per person.

Based on the POU, the Food and Agriculture Organisation creates World Hunger maps. On the top of this article, you can see their map from 2015. (

White colour indicates very low hunger level – below 5%.

Beige colour indicates relatively low hunger level – 5%-14.9%.

Light orange colour indicates medium hunger level – 15%-24.99%.

Dark orange colour indicates relatively high hunger level – 25%-34.99%.

Dark red colour indicates very high hunger level – above 35%.

As you can see on the map above, undernourishment occurs mostly in Africa, South America, Asia and Latin America.

According to the FAO (, there are 795 million hungry people around the world. Most of them live following regions:

Sub-Saharan Africa,

Northern Africa,

Easter Africa,

Central Africa,

Southern Asia,

Eastern Asia,

Western Asia,

Central Asia,

Latin America,



As you can see, it is not just Africa that suffers. Only in Southern Asia, there are 281 million hungry people. Countries that are able to fight this problem, are the ones with stabile food politics, such as responsible agricultural development, fishing and forest management. The huge changes were implemented in Western Africa in 1990-1992, that has led to 24.5% hunger reduction.

Top 10 countries with the highest scale of hunger are: Burundi, Eritrea, Timor-Leste, Comoros, Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Yemen, Zambia and Haiti. They are mostly African countries.

However, hunger also occurs in large countries with dynamic development, such as China and India. Unfortunately, in those countries, all benefits go into hands of few, when millions of other people are struggling.

In conclusion, its not the rapid economical growth that eliminates humanitarian problems. What’s crucial is sensibility and empathy of people in power. The change begins in our minds and hearts.

Article based on ‘The Atlas of World Hunger' by Thomas J. Bassett and Alex Winter-Nelson, as well as researches of the FAO.