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I was reading a book called Enlightenment and found a sentence that I didn't fully understand. The sentence reads as follows: "How many people are victims of violence as a proportion of the number of people alive?" By "as a proportion of", does the author mean "compared to"? I would be glad if you could help me out.

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The author means "divided by." In other words, what is the ratio of victims of violence to world population?

See "proportion," Merriam-Webster, sense 3:

the relation of one part to another or to the whole with respect to magnitude, quantity, or degree : RATIO

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