Jonas Amir Kadah
Jonas Amir Kadah
Happiness never decreases from being shared.

Factfulness – the world is better than ever

The world is better than ever! (Source: Wikimedia commons, unknown, 2015).

We’ve all been reading the news lately, if not – then google Talibans, Syrian civil war, Hamas and for the sake of it Yemen as well. Not so nice? Well, exclude all of the above and you’ll see the world is a better place now than ever.

I’ll just start right away by blowing your mind away.

62% of all girls living below the extreme poverty line (less than 2 USD/day) still attends school at least until 5th grade. 5,54 billion people are now living in middle income countries. During the last 20 years the number of people living in extreme poverty has dwindled down by 50%. We live for at least 72 years today on a global average. By the way, the number of deaths from natural disasters has also shrunken by half. Both men and women globally attends school for at least 10 years on average. (Source: Hans Rosling, 2017).

1. In 1975, 58% survived child cancer. Today that number is 89%. Not good enough, but better. (Src: NCI [1.2] 2021.).

2. In 1970, 65% of all girls attended school. In 2017, 94% attended. Better. (Src: UNESCO [3], Rosling, 2017).

3. In 1991 exactly 72% had access to electricity. 93% in 2020. (Src: GTF, 2020 & Gapminder).

4. 22% of all toddlers had their vaccines taken in 1980, that number rose sharply to 88% in 2016. (Src: WHO [23]).

5. Do you remember 1980? Were you even born then? Because back then 58% had access to running water. Today 93% has it. (Src: WHO, UNICEF JMP & World Bank).

6. Back in 1960, we only protected 34 wild animal species. Today, we protect 88 431 of them. (Src: Gapminder [36], IUCN Red list 2021).

7. 19% could read and write on a basic level in 1904. In 2016 that number was 86% and today 92%. (Src: Gapminder 2017 [21] based on UNESCO and van Zanden).

8. Back in 1800, slavery or forced labour was legal in 193 countries. Guess what? Only 3 countries left where it’s explicitly written legal – North Korea, Lesotho and Saudi Arabia. (Src: Pinker 2011, ILO and SDL 2018).

9. Capital punishment was sort of the norm in 1863 with 193 countries using it. It has since been abolished in 104 of them. So there’s still 89 countries left. I hope that number continues down. (Src: Amnesty & Pinker 2020).

10. Registered HIV infections are down from 550 per 1 million people in 1996, to 241 per million in 2018. (Src: UNAIDS).

11. Child labor is down from 28% in 1950 to 6% in 2018. (Src: OurWorldInData based on ILO, Gapminder & UNESCO 2019).

12. Smallpox was eradicated in 1979. (Src: Klepac et. al. 1984).

13. In 1966, 50% of the human population worldwide lived in extreme poverty (below 2 USD/day, adjusted for inflation). In 2017 that number had dwindled to 9%. Not good enough, but better. (Src: World Bank and WFP, 2018).

There are countless ways of pointing to everything that’s bad in this world. By doing so we also highlight our issues and deals with them. The fight of our lifetime is not wars, it’s global warming while making sure people are living a decent life.

About the Author
Jonas is a fierce critiqeuer of everything unjust. He is well-educated, well-travelled and believes firmly in pragmatism and progressiveness rather than religion and outdated conservatism. He dares to challenge anyone or anything and is super-tired of racial slurs and internet trolls. Jonas is a painting in progress.
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