It’s not the world that’s got so much worse
but the news coverage that’s got so much better.
- G. K. Chesterton
Despite the large number of things that are always going wrong with the world, the big picture is remarkably positive.
This can be difficult to get one’s head round – as there are always nasty things happening in a world this big and complicated – below are a series of info-graphics to aid with visualisation. They record the decisive and continuing improvements in human welfare across recent history.
Then and Now – we’ve literally never been in better shape
Below are three charts (provided by the Gapminder Institute of Stockholm) showing the state of humanity in 1800, 1933 and 2009.
- Y-axis is life expectancy
- X-axis is income per person
- Each dot is a country (colour depending on continent)
- Size of dot is population of that country
- Every country in 2009 CE has a longer life expectancy than any country in 1800 CE
- Almost every country is richer in 2009 CE than any country was in 1800 CE
- With very few exceptions every country is relentlessly moving in a positive long-term direction
- Progress has been the norm for human civilisation over the past two centuries
The last 200 years – Professor Hans Rosling Talks us Through Humanity’g Golden Age
Hans Rosling, of the Gapminder Institute in Stockholm, talks us through those charts, in an animated way; demonstrating just how quickly human civilisation is getting its act together (the action starts at 00.30):
Links – worldview section: