Is life getting better or worse? Watching the news, it’s easy to become pessimistic. But don’t forget that reporting is often selective. Bad news leads to higher ratings, while good news is seldom covered. So, what is the real state of humanity? Consider the changes that have occurred in the world since the end of World War II.

  • In 1950, the average life expectancy at birth was only 48.5 years. In 2019, it was 72.8 years. That’s an increase of 50 percent.
  • Out of every 1,000 live births in 1950, 20.6 children died before their fifth birthday. That number was only 2.7 in 2019. That’s a reduction of 87 percent.
  • Between 1950 and 2018, the average income per person rose from $3,296 to $15,138. That’s an inflation adjusted increase of 359 percent.
  • Between 1961 and 2013, the average food supply per person per day rose from 2,116 calorie to 2,928 calories. That’s an increase of 31.7 percent.
  • In 1950, the length of schooling that a person could typically expect to receive was 2.59 years. In 2017, it was 8 years. That’s a 209 percent increase.
  • The world’s liberal democratic score rose from an average of 0.223 out of 1.0 in 1950 to an average of 0.301 out of 1.0 in 2022. That’s about a 35 percent increase.

How does Your Data Compare?

Those are global improvements. What about life in your country? See the changes that have happened in your lifetime, and share the results with your family and friends – just enter the country and year of your birth.