Updated: Jul 4
The phrase “10/40 Window” was coined in 1990 by Luis Bush in reference to the vast swath of the Eastern Hemisphere lying between the 10th parallel (line of latitude) ten degrees north of the Equator and the 40th parallel. Roughly half of the world's population, four billion people, live in this expanse encompassing northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia proper. For decades, Christian missionary effort has focused on the diverse 6,100 people groups living in the region, 95% of whom know nothing of the life-giving message of Jesus Christ.
There is a new, recently emerging mission field, however, which demands as much missionary attention. It is the “30/50 Window”. Hundreds of millions live in this segment of the Western Hemisphere. It is crucial to reach the peoples of this region on account of the powerful influence they have in world commerce, communications, technology, and social philosophy.
More wealth is concentrated here than anywhere else on Earth with the average annual household income standing at a phenomenal $88,000. The percentage of household budget spent on food, the global standard for measuring wealth, is the lowest in the world. Such easy to obtain, inexpensive food is carelessly handled. Fully 130 billion meals are sent to the garbage each year, about 40% of the region’s available food.
Clothing is inexpensive as well. On average less than 3.5% of income is spent on clothing and shoes each year. In addition, such wealth allows supplying free services to assist the poorest households. Free cell phones, television, internet, and utilities - all given to those in the lowest income class in the richest region on Earth.
With all this wealth, one would think it would be the happiest place on the planet. As of 2022, however, 13% of those over 12 years old, more than one in eight, are on antidepressants and the number is growing fast according to an organization tracking health statistics. Addictions of all variety are also on the rise making a significant health crisis. Illegal sex trafficking is wide spread, extending beyond major cities. Adults and children, particularly immigrants, are trapped in this underworld market. Lawlessness is rising in all sectors except where the definition of various crime categories has been downgraded or even decriminalized. In short, moral confusion is everywhere.
What nations are in the “30/50 Window”? There is just one. It is the United State of America. Once the global standard of social morality, personal freedom, and material generosity, its hallmark attributes are eroding under the constant assault on biblical truth and values. Less than one-third of Americans attend church, according to a study by Wheaton College, Illinois. The Barna Group reports a similar low number who acknowledge a personal Christian faith.
Thankfully, believers in Jesus Christ are working at sharing the Gospel and praying for spiritual revival in our nation. Let us push forward with determination, supporting and participating with these ministries. We hold to the vision and promise of Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”