My early view on world progress was governed by what I was told at the dinner table most nights - “finish your dinner; kids in China and Africa are starving.” This common parental refrain was from an earlier perspective that there were two types of countries: industrialized and developing.
In just a single generation, it's safe to say that the world is no longer us and them, as the data on virtually every metric of progress shows amazing improvement among developing nations, many of which are rapidly catching up and achieving a standard of living that is far better than what they previously experience. Despite this, when people are asked if the world is getting better, worse or about the same, the majority say things are
The facts about poverty, infant mortality, education of females and other indicators of progress will challenge your assumptions about much of what is reported on the news. In 1966,
of the world’s population suffered from extreme poverty, living on less than $2 per day. By 2017, the rate of extreme poverty worldwide has dropped by 80% while the number of people on this planet more than doubled. When divided across four levels of income, most of the world exists in the middle two levels, living on daily income between $2 and $32. While the US is at the top level, it is neither the wealthiest nor the healthiest country.
This “reality check” comes through the research of Hans Rosling, MD and his book
“Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think.”