Hans Rosling, the Swedish doctor and statistician who made it his life’s goal to challenge misconceptions about human development with data, died yesterday at the age of 68.
A professor of global health in Stockholm, Rosling discovered that his students and even colleagues were widely ignorant of the improvements the world has seen in the last few decades. He was baffled by how many people thought that the developing world would remain mired in extreme poverty and decided to educate them by spreading data-based evidence of human betterment.
In 2006, Rosling set up Gapminder, a charity that promotes international development by increasing the use of statistics and raising awareness of human progress.
Rosling was immensely successful with his project and he became a world famous educator about the state of the world. Almost 8 million people have watched his BBC video explaining how countries have become richer and how the world’s population has gotten healthier. He gave 10 TED talks – more than any other person – giving lectures on how the world is constantly getting better.
Over the course of his life, Rosling has thereby demonstrated to millions of people evidence of advancements in human well-being. Furthermore, he has influenced people like Mark Zuckerberg and Al Gore and was listed himself among the 100 most influential people by Time and Foreign Policy.
The HumanProgress.org team would like to thank Hans Rosling for his work, which so closely resembles our mission to decrease misconceptions about the state of humanity and point to the many improvements that our world has seen. Rosling’s family announced today that “Hans is no longer alive, but he will always be with us and his dream of a fact-based worldview, we will never let die!” We couldn’t agree more.