Friday, December 23, 2016

A history of global living conditions: a big picture of human development in 6 charts

It is hard not to be a pessimist these days. As 2016 comes to an end, it leaves us with that bitter feeling of "WTF world!". In gloomy days like these, having a long term perspective on human development can help us alleviate this feeling.

The image below brings 6 charts that give a historical perspective on human development (detailed and interactive charts here). They show the big picture of some of the remarkable improvements we have seen in the world in the last 200 years, with less poverty and tyranny and with more education and better health conditions.

This image comes from Our World in Data (OWID), a fantastic online publication that shows how living conditions are changing in the world with the best available on wide range of topics including health, food, energy, institutions, culture, education, technology, war and peace, etc. I am proud that OWID is produced at the University of Oxford. It was created by  Max RoserEsteban Ortiz Ospina and Jaiden Mispy

The OWID website is a great source of information, particularly if you're feeling too pessimistic about the world  or if you feel like procrastinating a bit, like me 

"One reason why we do not see progress is that we are unaware of how bad the past was." (Roser et al, OWID)