Every week, stories about scandal, war, disease, climate change, income inequality, and a shaky economic recovery dominate the headlines. But a new website, ourworldindata.org, provides a much needed analysis about the good news out there.
Dr. Max Roser, an economist at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford University and creator of the Our World In Data website, says that it may seem like the world has gotten worse over time, but the data suggests otherwise.
“To really understand how the world is changing, you have to look at the big picture,” says Dr. Roser. “You have to zoom out from the current events to understand in which direction the world is changing.”
Here are some of the most optimistic trends Dr. Roser has analyzed:
With wars raging in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan and elsewhere, it's hard to believe that war deaths are actually declining at a rapid pace. Here's a look at how far we've come since World War II:
Malaria has taken a deadly toll on countries near the equator, but there's been some good new on that front over the last 10 years:
Thanks to the industrial revolution and the surge in computers in the workplace people are working less than they used to.
The world is less poor than ever. But, as Dr. Roser notes, income inequality in the richest countries is rising.
A look at homicide rates shows the world used to be a much more dangerous place:
Here's a map of homicide rates today:
The world is also more democratic.
Here's a graph showing the number of people living in different political systems.