Rich countries today live in a high energy society. These countries have extensive energy infrastructure (like the electrical grid) to give citizens access to energy currencies which provide extensive services that allow them to maintain a high quality of life.
People living in wealthy countries have:
All of these provide comfort and economic opportunities. Many of the non-OECD countries are developing infrastructure to create the opportunities available in these wealthy OECD countries. Most notably the BRIC countries are increasing primary energy use quite rapidly.
One grouping of these wealthy countries is the group of OECD countries. The OECD countries contain roughly 1/6th of the world population, but use roughly 1/2 of the primary energy. This means that the more than 6 billion people living in non-OECD countries use roughly the same amount of energy as slightly more than 1 billion living in the OECD countries. See figure 2 for a comparison of their energy use per person (and click the per capita button to see total energy use). To see a map of which countries are in the OECD, please see figure 1.
Figure 2. Primary energy use in OECD (blue) and non-OECD (red) countries. Click the 'per capita' to see total energy use of these countries, see the map in figure 2 for which countries are part of OECD.