Evidence from individual scholars, academic institutions, and international organizations shows dramatic improvements in human well-being throughout much of the world. In recent decades, these improvements have been especially striking in developing countries. Unfortunately, there is often a wide gap between the reality of human experience, which is characterized by incremental improvements, and public perception, which tends to be quite negative about the current state of the world and skeptical about humanity’s future prospects.

To rectify the widely held misperceptions about the state of humanity, we have gathered empirical data from reliable sources that look at worldwide long-term trends. By putting together these comprehensive data in an accessible way, our goal is to provide a useful resource for students, scholars, journalists, policymakers, and the general public.

Whereas we think that policies and institutions compatible with freedom and openness are important factors in promoting human well-being, we let the evidence speak for itself. Finally, we hope that this website leads to a greater appreciation of the improving state of the world and stimulates an intelligent debate on the drivers of human progress.