Want to know where the poor live? Look at where the light isn’t.
"Satellite photos of Earth’s artificial lights at night form a luminescent landscape. But researcher Chris Elvidge of NOAA and colleagues from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver realized that they could also illuminate something much darker: the magnitude of human poverty. By comparing the amount of light in a particular area and its known population, they realized that they could infer the percentage of people who are able to afford electricity and the level of government spending on infrastructure development. This allowed them to extrapolate levels of human development—a measure of well-being that includes such factors as income, life expectancy and literacy."