The late Swedish academic Hans Rosling has identified a worrying trend: not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, but they actually even think the opposite. This is no wonder, when the news focuses on reporting catastrophes, terrorist attacks, wars and famines.
1: Life expectancy continues to rise
Read more about what life expectancy really means and how it has changed
2: Child mortality continues to fall
Thanks to modern medicine, and better public safety in general, child mortality has been reduced to almost zero in rich countries.
3. Fertility rates are falling
UN population estimates largely expect the global population to stabilise at about 11 billion by the end of this century.
4. GDP growth has accelerated in developed countries
Low-income countries, including China and India, have been growing at a significantly faster pace in recent decades and are quickly catching up to the West.
5. Global income inequality has gone down
While inequality within countries has gone up as a result of globalisation, global inequality has been on a steady downward trend for several decades.
6. More people are living in democracies
Throughout most of human history people lived under oppressive non-democratic regimes. As of today, about half of the human population is living in a democracy.
7. Conflicts are on the decline
For the first time ever, there has been no war or conflict in Western Europe in about three generations. And international organisations including the EU and the UN have led to a more stable world.