In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
Americans are five times more likely to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity than in 1967 (and other stats on racial progress since the 1960s). #HumanProgressData
Yearly net deforestation is fast approaching zero and according to current trends, within the next couple of decades net afforestation will be the norm. This tremendous news is something to truly shout from the treetops.
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
A tractor advertisement from 1921 reads: “Keep the boy in school—and let a Case Kerosene Tractor take his place in the field. You'll never regret either investment.”
I love this series from . I wish I could have met Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose work in agriculture has greatly influenced my thinking.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
Over 50% of Americans find themselves among the top 10% of income-earners for at least one year during their lives. Over 11% of Americans will be among the top 1% for at least one year. The rate of turnover in these groups is extremely high.
“In 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent.” One of the greatest humanitarian achievements of our species – and hardly anyone knows about it.
Alcohol consumption could have given early homo sapiens a survival edge. Before we could properly purify water, the risk of ingesting hazardous microbes was so great that the antiseptic qualities of alcohol made it safer to consume than alternatives.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%. The world's poorest people are getting richer faster...
Since the new millennium's start, Africa's average per capita income rose by more than 50 percent.
Global greening is good news. It means more food for insects and deer, for elephants and mice, for fish and whales. It means higher yields for farmers; indeed, the effect has probably added about $3 trillion to farm incomes over the last 30 years.
Yearly net deforestation is fast approaching zero and according to current trends, within the next couple of decades net afforestation will be the norm. This tremendous news is something to truly shout from the treetops.
Since the new millennium's start, Africa's average per capita income rose by more than 50 percent.
Reports of the "end of democracy" are like dismissals of global warming on a cold day: They mistake examples (Russia, Turkey, Venezuela) for a trend. The world has never been more democratic than it is in this decade. #HumanProgressData
Karl Marx thought market competition would drive down profits, thus necessitating ever greater exploitation of workers. But in fact, real average global income per person rose by factor of 10 over the last 200 hundred years.
The speed of poverty alleviation in the last 25 years has been historically unprecedented: more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty in the last quarter century.
Populists claim it was better in the 70s, but "the best explanation for the good old days is a bad memory." I was there: 2-digit inflation + unemployment; gas lines; shortages of sugar, coffee, meat. Unskilled wages bought *much* less. #HumanProgressData
"The world’s richest regions, such as North America and Europe, are not only increasing their forest area. They have more forests than they did prior to industrialization."
The world is becoming freer. If the world of 1980 were a country today, its economic freedom score would place it at 160 out of 163 nations - ranking two places below Syria. If a 2016 world were a nation in 1980, it would be the 12th freest.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%. The world's poorest people are getting richer faster...
Free market capitalism has delivered what Marx had long desired — shorter working hours and higher income.
A 2014 German survey found that the introduction of genetic modification elsewhere in the world had reduced pesticide use by 36.9 per cent on average, while increasing yields by 21.6 per cent.
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
"Poverty is not a result of lack of resources or opportunities, but of poor institutions, poor government, and toxic politics." - Angus Deaton
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
The brand-new Simon Abundance Index 2019 has just been released. Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley found that the earth was 519% more abundant in 2018 than it was in 1980. Find that hard to believe? Read more here:
It is the poorest who benefit the most from secure property rights, loosened regulatory barriers, and greater trade liberalization. The poorest 10% of income earners in the freest nations make 7.9 times more than the poorest 10% in the least free nations.
“Random violence makes the news precisely because it is so rare, routine kindness does not make the news precisely because it is so commonplace.” -
Putin claims "liberalism is obsolete" as he presides over a declining, repressive, resource-extraction state. Liberal countries are happier, healthier, richer, and the most attractive to those who vote with their feet. #HumanProgressData
People in pre-industrial Europe generally lived a hand-to-mouth existence which would be foolish to romanticize. #HumanProgressData
Six out of the ten worst famines of the 20th century happened because of central planning.
Yearly net deforestation is fast approaching zero and according to current trends, within the next couple of decades net afforestation will be the norm. This tremendous news is something to truly shout from the treetops.
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
The rise of the non-Western world is, unambiguously, a result of economic growth spurred by the abandonment of central-planning and integration of many non-Western countries into the global economy.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stated “Capitalism is irredeemable.” In fact, a market that functions relatively freely and competitively delivers enormous benefits to all people - especially those at the bottom of the income ladder.
As more Chinese have left farms in the countryside to work in factory cities, the suicide rate has plummeted. This may be shocking to many people in rich countries, because many who enjoy post-industrial prosperity worry about exploitation in factories.
Whether it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s questioning the morality of childbearing or Bill Maher claiming, “I can’t think of a better gift to our planet than pumping out fewer humans,” a philosophy known as “anti-natalism” is going increasingly mainstream.
Contrary to popular opinion, global inequality is falling – and has been since the 1980s. Poor countries are getting richer faster than already-rich countries are.
Contrary to popular belief, America's middle class is disappearing primarily because people are moving into higher income groups, not because they are falling into poverty.
The United Kingdom has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago.
The amount of vegetation growing on the earth has been increasing every year for at least 30 years.
Extreme poverty has declined from afflicting 85 percent of the world's population in 1800 to less than 10 percent today. If that trend continues, extreme poverty will be gone by 2030.
We have compiled a random list of 40 ways in which the world is getting better, giving all of us grounds for optimism about the future.
The freer the nation, the better off the poorest people in it are. The bottom 10 percent of income earners in the freest quartile of nations earned 11 times more than the bottom 10 percent in the least free quartile ($11,998 pa and $1,124 pa respectively).
Chile and Venezuela stand at two extremes in terms of development in Latin America. One is a success story, the other suffers from one of the most acute humanitarian crises ever seen in the Western Hemisphere. Why is that so?
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
The freer the nation, the better off the poorest people in it are. The bottom 10 percent of income earners in the freest quartile of nations earned 11 times more than the bottom 10 percent in the least free quartile ($11,998 pa and $1,124 pa respectively).
According to the Council on Foreign Relations' Global Conflict Tracker, the Western Hemisphere is, with the exception of the drug-war in Mexico, free of conflict. No person alive can remember our Hemisphere to be as peaceful as it is today.
1 in 6 people would raise taxes on the rich even if they knew it would also hurt the poor to do so. Why? Envy.
"In the year 1800, roughly 85 percent of humanity lived in extreme poverty...Now that number is 9 percent. Today almost everybody has escaped hell."-
“Industrialization has been good for humanity. It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children.” -
Debates about income inequality, “the top 1%,” and poverty typically examine those issues within the context of a single country, but if you make more than $32,400 per year, you are in the top 1% of the richest people in the world.
In the 1930s, pessimists feared that radios were a threat to democracy. By 1936, pessimists had succeeded at banning radios in cars in a number of U.S. cities, arguing that they were distracting and might prevent drivers from hearing fire engine sirens.
Africa may be the world's poorest continent, but since the start of the new millennium, Africa's average per capita income adjusted for inflation and purchasing power parity rose by more than 50% and Africa's growth rate has averaged almost 5% per year.
Today world population is at a record high, but famines have all but vanished outside of war zones. Even in Sub Saharan Africa, the poorest area on the planet, the food supply now exceeds the recommended 2,000 calories per person per day.
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
A new survey has unveiled that, both men and women are equally pleased with their employment situations and the earnings gap can largely be explained by women being more likely on average to choose part-time work.
Before the age of five, 35 out of every 45 Victorian children had experienced either smallpox, measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, typhus or enteric fever — or some combination of those illnesses — and many of them did not survive.
While Venezuela’s socialism has managed to kill more infants than war in Syria, Chile’s incredible success story shows us that by implementing the right policies, humanity can make rapid progress and better protect the most vulnerable members of society.
Extreme poverty has declined significantly, to the point where its end may actually be in sight. So next time you hear someone bemoaning a supposed rise in world poverty, encourage them to have a look at the evidence for themselves.
Amartya Sen, the winner of the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, noted, “No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy…”
Chile’s success started when Chile abandoned socialism and implemented economic reforms. As economic freedom increased, so did income per capita, which rose from being 31 percent of that in Venezuela to being 138 percent of that in Venezuela.
In 1970, Harvard University biologist George Wald claimed that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” His prediction would place the end of civilization sometime between 1985 and 2000
“Random violence makes the news precisely because it is so rare, routine kindness does not make the news precisely because it is so commonplace.” -
Sh*t matters: Human waste managements a modern miracle that we (in the 1st world) take for granted. A UN Sustainable Dev Goal: eliminate open defecation by 2030. #HumanProgressData
The Food Price Index shows that the inflation-adjusted price of food in 2017 was lower than what it was in 1961. More people than ever have access to adequate nutrition.
Capitalism is one the most cooperative of human endeavors. Repeated transactions among trading parties encourage trustworthiness-- a moral side product of capitalism that we do not spend enough time talking about, let alone celebrating.
More than a third of U.S. millennials worry about the environmental effect of childbearing, including congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who recently questioned the ethics of producing more children. In reality, the overpopulation alarmists are wrong.
"Paul Ehrlich's book The Population Bomb was published declaring it a fantasy that India would ever feed itself. His prediction was wrong before the ink was dry. By 1974, India was a net exporter of wheat. Wheat production had tripled." --
Socialism is back in vogue, especially among America’s college-educated youth. They are too young to remember the Cold War and few study history.
Socialism is back in vogue, especially among America’s college-educated youth. They are too young to remember the Cold War and few study history.
"Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labor & infant mortality are falling faster than at any other time in human history ... The golden age is now." —
For the first time in history, the majority of humankind is no longer poor, or vulnerable to fall into poverty.
Repeal of the Corn Laws marked a fundamental shift of the British Empire toward free-trade. The policy alleviated hunger and suffering of millions of people, and set a precedent for free-trade treaties to follow. #HeroesOfProgress
The Romantic Idea of a Plentiful Past Is Pure Fantasy: The evidence does not support Hickel’s assertion that people in the past “lived well” without much monetary income. #HumanProgressData
The last forty years have seen a massive and historically unprecedented decline in global poverty. #HumanProgressData
The population is at a record high yet famines have all but vanished. Even in Sub Saharan Africa, the food supply now exceeds the recommended 2,000 calories per person per day. Yet overpopulation fears still exert a powerful hold on the public imagination.
As The Economist put it, “Moving to the cities to work… has been the salvation of many rural young women, liberating them.” Globalisation has, quite literally, saved many of their lives.
“Capitalism has worked very well. Anyone who wants to move to North Korea is welcome." -- Bill Gates
As countries get richer and join the market economy they generally reverse deforestation, slow species loss and reverse some species declines.
Capitalism is one the most cooperative of human endeavors. Repeated transactions among trading parties encourage trustworthiness-- a moral side product of capitalism that we do not spend enough time talking about, let alone celebrating.
For the same amount of work that allowed a production worker to purchase one basket of 42 food items in 1919, he or she could buy 11.73 baskets in 2019.
Today marks the 23rd installment of HumanProgress’ #HeroesOfProgress column. This week our hero is Willis Carrier, the man who invented the first air conditioning unit. Since its creation air conditioning has saved and improved millions of lives worldwide. 
If you are poor, it is substantially better to live in a freer economy. The bottom 10% of income earners in the freest countries make, on average, 7.9 times more than the poorest 10% in the least free nations.
Before it was eradicated in 1979, smallpox was one of humanity's oldest diseases. The virus can be traced back to pharaonic Egypt, is thought to have killed between 300-500 million people as late as the 20th century. Enter, Edward Jenner. #HeroesOfProgress
In the year 353, a bishop called Hilary of Poitiers predicted that the world would end in just 12 years, in 365. It is a safe bet that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's recent forecast ends up as inaccurate as his was.
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
The Simon Project counterintuitively shows that as the population increases, the time price of goods and resources decreases. Rather than causing scarcity, additional people make goods and resources more abundant.
Why are wolves increasing all around the world, lions decreasing and tigers now holding steady? Basically, because wolves are in rich countries, lions in poor countries and tigers in middle income countries. Prosperity is the solution, not the problem
Looking back, Fleming said, “One sometimes finds what one is not looking for… I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic or bacteria killer. But I suppose that’s exactly what I did.” #HeroesOfProgress
Compared to 1915, the average American in 2015 was healthier, better educated, working less while in a safer environment, and making more money yet spending less on everyday goods.
"[I]t now takes just 5.56 hours of labor to buy... an air-conditioning unit. That means that the time price (the number of working hours needed to earn enough money to buy a product) of air-conditioning has fallen by more than 97 percent since 1952."
"Industrialization has been good for humanity. It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children." Figure:
Maurice Hilleman, an American microbiologist who developed over 40 lifesaving vaccines, is credited with saving more lives than any other medical scientist of the 20th century. Take a moment to appreciate the man.
“For the first time since agriculture-based civilization began 10,000 years ago, the majority of humankind is no longer poor or vulnerable to falling into poverty.”
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
The United Kingdom has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago.
42% of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country. Before they reject American-style capitalism, millennials should consider how prosperous ordinary Americans really are.
“Most African nations took the socialist route after independence... Socialism, the antithesis of capitalism, was advocated as the only road to Africa’s prosperity… and in its wake followed economic atrophy, repression and dictatorship.”
Since 1988, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized and incidences of polio infections have fallen by more than 99.99 percent. That is, they fell from 350,000 annual cases, to just 22 new cases across 3 countries in 2017.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stated “Capitalism is irredeemable.” In fact, a market that functions relatively freely and competitively delivers enormous benefits to all people - especially those at the bottom of the income ladder.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
Yearly net deforestation is fast approaching zero and according to current trends, within the next couple of decades net afforestation will be the norm. This tremendous news is something to truly shout from the treetops.
The United Kingdom has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago.
The world’s richest regions, such as North America and Europe, are not only increasing their forest area. They have more forests than they did prior to industrialization.
The truth is that aid has never lifted a single country out of poverty and in some cases even hinders international development. Haiti is famously host to >10,000 aid NGOs, but charity has perversely harmed local industries and led to a cycle of dependence
Air conditioning is a simple invention that provides us respite from the summer heat, enables humans to inhabit previously inhospitable places, increases our work productivity and has saved millions of people from suffering heat-related deaths.
It is the poorest who benefit the most from secure property rights, loosened regulatory barriers, and greater trade liberalization. The poorest 10% of income earners in the freest nations make 7.9 times more than the poorest 10% in the least free nations.
In 2006, Al Gore warned that unless drastic measures were taken “within the next 10 years,” the world would “reach a point of no return.” That would place “the point of no return” in 2016.
Why are wolves increasing all around the world, lions decreasing and tigers now holding steady? Basically, because wolves are in rich countries, lions in poor countries and tigers in middle income countries. Prosperity is the solution not the problem.
The notion that Green Climate Fund's money will be will used for environmental "adaptation and mitigation" is a fantasy. Like much foreign aid, most of the "green aid" money will likely end up in the pockets of some of the most corrupt people on earth.
Yearly net deforestation is fast approaching zero and according to current trends, within the next couple of decades net afforestation will be the norm. This tremendous news is something to truly shout from the treetops.
Almost without exception, the freer the country, the more rapid its economic growth, and the higher its citizens’ income.
In 1968, biologist Paul Ehrlich believed that "In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." Today, famines have all but disappeared outside of war zones.
Hong Kong used to be a barren rock. Today, a resident of Hong Kong is 30% richer than a resident of the United Kingdom. How did that happen?
“[I]n the United States, the violent-crime rate has been on a downward trend since 1990. Just under 14.5 million crimes were reported in 1990. By 2016 that figure was well under 9.5 million.” -
Once nations hit, what Ridley dubs the “forest transition,” or approximately $4,500 GDP per capita, forest areas begin to increase. China, Russia, India, Vietnam and Bangladesh are just some of the nations that have hit this forest transition phase.
“Capitalism has worked very well. Anyone who wants to move to North Korea is welcome." - Bill Gates
If you are poor, it is substantially better to live in a freer economy. The bottom 10% of income earners in the freest countries make, on average, 7.9 times more than the poorest 10% in the least free nations.
Karl Marx thought that capitalism inevitably made the rich richer and the poor poorer. By the time Marx died, however, the average Englishman was three times richer than at the time of his birth 65 years earlier. -
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
"Paul Ehrlich's book The Population Bomb was published declaring it a fantasy that India would ever feed itself. His prediction was wrong before the ink was dry. By 1974, India was a net exporter of wheat. Wheat production had tripled." -- Matt Ridley
Before the Enlightenment, Europeans drank alcohol throughout the day. Then, through trade with the Arab world, a transformation occurred: coffee, rich with caffeine, a stimulant, swept across the continent and replaced alcohol, a depressant.
“Capitalism has worked very well. Anyone who wants to move to North Korea is welcome." - Bill Gates
"Paul Ehrlich's book The Population Bomb was published declaring it a fantasy that India would ever feed itself. His prediction was wrong before the ink was dry. By 1974, India was a net exporter of wheat. Wheat production had tripled." -- Matt Ridley
“It is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women.” - Camille Paglia
Even if overpopulation were a problem, it is one with an expiration date: due to falling global birth rates, demographers estimate the world population will decrease in the long run, after peaking around the year 2070.
Many people think that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. They're half right: the rich are getting richer. However, the poor are becoming richer as well.
When Nike and Adidas limited working hours at Chinese supplier factories to ease the consciences of U.S. activists, many workers quit, complaining that the overtime pay was no longer enough. Activists routinely ignore the wishes of the workers themselves.
Despite apocalyptic predictions, an average person today is much better off than he or she would have been at any previous period in human history.
Amartya Sen, the winner of the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, noted, “No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy…”
“Most African nations took the socialist route after independence... Socialism, the antithesis of capitalism, was advocated as the only road to Africa’s prosperity… and in its wake followed economic atrophy, repression and dictatorship.”
The United Kingdom has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago.
The average income in the freest nations is a staggering 7.1 times higher than in the least free economies - $40,376 vs. only $5,649.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the annual rate of deforestation has more than halved since the 1990s.
While Venezuela’s socialism has managed to kill more infants than war in Syria, Chile’s incredible success story shows us that by implementing the right policies, humanity can make rapid progress and better protect the most vulnerable members of society.
"If poverty is not a result of lack of resources or opportunities, but of poor institutions, poor government, and toxic politics, giving money to poor countries...is likely to perpetuate and prolong poverty, not eliminate it."—Angus Deaton
“In 1979, 13% of Americans were in upper income bands; 39% in the middle; 48% were lower income or poor. By 2014, 31% of Americans were high income, 32% middle, and 37% low-income or poor.”—
Globally, life expectancy has increased by 19 years since 1960. In the U.S., where life expectancy was already high, it has risen by 10 years.
People are richer and food is cheaper. Average global income per person per day rose from $3.7 in 1900 to $35 in 2000, while the price of food in 2017 was lower than in 1961. Taking a longer view, the Grilli-Yang Food Price Index halved between 1906 & 2006
Not only is the proportion of people in poverty at a record low, but, in spite of adding 2 billion to the planet’s population, the overall number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen too.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stated “Capitalism is irredeemable.” In fact, a market that functions relatively freely and competitively delivers enormous benefits to all people - especially those at the bottom of the income ladder.
Access to running water and electricity is rapidly spreading across the globe. As more households gain access to modern technologies, more children will leave behind backbreaking physical labor for school books and studying.
Free markets have given us higher incomes and shorter working hours - one of Marx's key aims.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
"In reality, the natural state of mankind was no Eden. Instead, it consisted of grinding poverty punctuated by horrific violence, terminating with an early death. It was like this for a very, very long time." - . To learn more
We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up... The only sound way to appraise the state of the world is to count.
In 1800, 43% of children died before their fifth birthday. Today, less than 4% do.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, that number had dropped to 34.8%, and, by 2015, it was just 9.6%. #HumanProgresData
All of humanity’s knowledge, which took millennia to accumulate, can be accessed easily and instantaneously — via a smartphone.
In 1800, 43% of children died before their fifth birthday. Today, less than 4% do.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
Today world population is at a record high, but famines have all but vanished outside of war zones. Even in Sub Saharan Africa, the poorest area on the planet, the food supply now exceeds the recommended 2,000 calories per person per day.
If fusion makes energy “too cheap to meter,” we could make as much fresh water as we fancied, through desalination, to water the deserts. We could grow food indoors to release the countryside for nature. Africa could become as wealthy as America.
According to The World Tourism Organisation, 524 million people got to travel to a foreign country in 1995. That number grew to 1.245 billion in 2016, a 138% increase #travel
To quote the British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, “On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”
In 1968, food supply in 34 out of 152 countries surveyed amounted to less than 2,000 calories per person per day. That was true of only 2 out of 173 countries surveyed in 2013.
If crop yields remained at their 1900 level, the crop harvest in 2000 would have required 4 times more farmland than was cultivated. That's almost half of all land, rather than the 15% needed today. Enter, Fritz Haber & Carl Bosch-- #HeroesOfProgress
Cities are essential to human flourishing. #HumanProgressData
"For 200 years, pessimists have had all the headlines-even though optimists have far more often been right." - . To learn more
If fusion makes energy “too cheap to meter,” we could make as much fresh water as we fancied, through desalination, to water the deserts. We could grow food indoors to release the countryside for nature. Africa could become as wealthy as America.
"The Gang of Four—Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan—went from third world to first over the last four decades. China, India, and the Gang of Four did this through the efforts of many decentralized agents participating in markets" —
Why are some people poor? That's always the wrong question. The question is why are some people rich? Poverty is the natural condition of mankind, but it's easy to forget that.
Today is the 9th installment of our #HeroesOfProgress column. This week, our hero is Richard Cobden, a man who's work turned Britain into a free trading nation – an act that set in motion global trade liberalization that has lifted millions out of poverty.
As running water, electricity, washing machines, and other modern conveniences spread, time spent on housework plummeted.
During the Age of Enlightenment, the number of capital offences fell from 222 to four in the first half of the 19th century. Society did not suddenly become more chaotic as a result.
Since the Industrial Revolution, the overall number of hours worked has declined in tandem with increasing prosperity.
“It is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women.” - Camille Paglia
Six out of the ten worst famines of the 20th century happened because of central planning.
In 1968, Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, which began: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”
A wrongheaded but common FAQ is whether progress will halt when we "run out of resources." In fact and Marian Tupy of show that resources have become superabundant, thanks to gains in *knowledge*. #HumanProgressData
Once nations hit, what Ridley dubs the “forest transition,” or approximately $4,500 GDP per capita, forest areas begin to increase. China, Russia, India, Vietnam and Bangladesh are just some of the nations that have hit this forest transition phase.
Hong Kong prospered because it followed Adam Smith's recommendations.
As late as 1971, only 43.3% of all US households had a color TV. By 2005, 97.4% of poor American households owned one. Similar stories can be told of washing machines, dishwashers, clothes dryers, refrigerators, freezers stoves and vacuum cleaners.
There was once a time when billionaire Howard Hughes bought a local TV station just so he could watch his favorite movies. The station then broadcast films from a list Hughes pre-approved. Today, almost everyone has access to 1000's of titles on Netflix.
It is the poorest who benefit the most from secure property rights, loosened regulatory barriers, and greater trade liberalization. The poorest 10% of income earners in the freest nations make 7.9 times more than the poorest 10% in the least free nations.
Whether you're reading this on a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, please take a moment to appreciate how incredible that device truly is. They enable a process called dematerialization—letting us produce and accomplish more with less.
"In reality, the natural state of mankind was no Eden. Instead, it consisted of grinding poverty punctuated by horrific violence, terminating with an early death. It was like this for a very, very long time." -
Caffeine helped fuel the Enlightenment, which brought humanity unprecedented prosperity
To fully appreciate Venezuela's decline, it is useful to compare its fate to the massive political and economic improvements experienced by the people of Chile.
In 1942, some 68 percent of white Americans surveyed thought that blacks and whites should go to separate schools. By 1995, only 4 percent held that view.
Before it was eradicated in 1979, smallpox was one of humanity's oldest diseases. The virus can be traced back to pharaonic Egypt, is thought to have killed between 300-500 million people as late as the 20th century. Enter, Edward Jenner. #HeroesOfProgress
In 1816, 0.87% of the world’s population lived in a democracy. In 2015, 56% did.
Even the world's poorest regions have experienced significant improvements in life expectancy. South Asia, for example, saw its life expectancy skyrocket by an extraordinary 26.5 years, or 63%. The world average, in contrast, rose by 19.12 years, or 37%.
Since 1988, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized and incidences of polio infections have fallen by more than 99.99 percent. That is, they fell from 350,000 annual cases, to just 22 new cases across 3 countries in 2017.
Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising—the results of socialist economics are often predictable.
In the 1930s, pessimists feared that radios were a threat to democracy. By 1936, pessimists had succeeded at banning radios in cars in a number of U.S. cities, arguing that they were distracting and might prevent drivers from hearing fire engine sirens.
Some 94 percent of Americans who reach “top 1 percent” income status will enjoy it for only a single year. Approximately 99 percent will lose their “top 1 percent” status within a decade. 
There was a time when everyone grew their own food and made their own clothes. It was a time of dire poverty and labor without rest.
"We have centuries of evidence now that capitalist economies do better at delivering high standards of living to their citizens than do economies run by communist, authoritarian, or other nonmarket systems. " - Eric Beinhocker. To learn more
John Stuart Mill summarized in 1828: "I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage." It's cool to be gloomy.
Between 1975 and 2019, the Chilean economy grew by 293 percent. Venezuela's shrunk by 54 percent.
Average Americans in 2016 were richer than Rockefeller in 1916. Here's how... #HumanProgressData
For the same amount of work that allowed a production worker to purchase one basket of the 42 commodities in 1919, he or she could buy 11.73 baskets in 2019.
After WWII, Hong Kong's average income was one third of that in Britain. By 1997, incomes in the two countries were the same. Today, the average inhabitant of Hong Kong is over 30 percent richer than the average Briton.
In the 1930s, pessimists feared that radios were a threat to democracy. By 1936, pessimists had succeeded at banning radios in cars in a number of U.S. cities, arguing that they were distracting and might prevent drivers from hearing fire engine sirens.
Why are wolves increasing all around the world, lions decreasing and tigers now holding steady? Basically, because wolves are in rich countries, lions in poor countries and tigers in middle income countries. Prosperity is the solution not the problem.
"As a result of ... continuous improvement of productivity through the division of labor and technical advancement, one hour's labor today is worth about 25 times more than it was in the mid-19th century" —
As people rise out of extreme poverty, they often come to care more about environmental stewardship. Once a country reaches around $4,500 in GDP per capita, forest area starts to rebound. This is called the “forest transition.”
To encourage reforestation and environmental protection, the answer is a simple one – adopt economic policies that encourage rapid development and urbanization.
"Those who condemn the immorality of liberal capitalism do so in comparison with a society of saints that has never existed—and never will." - To learn more
Instead of showing the unbelievable progress that humanity has made, history classes are often used to whip up resentment and a sense of victimhood among different socio-economic, racial, ethnic, religious and gender groups.
Before it was eradicated in 1979, smallpox was one of humanity's oldest diseases. The virus can be traced back to pharaonic Egypt, is thought to have killed between 300-500 million people as late as the 20th century. Enter, Edward Jenner. #HeroesOfProgress
In 1800, 88% of the world’s population was illiterate. Today, 13% of the world’s population is illiterate.
The Earth was 379.6% more abundant in 2017 than it was in 1980. Find that hard to believe? Read the HumanProgress’ new study:
In the 18th century, the British legal system included more than 222 capital crimes. The Black Act of 1723 alone created 50 capital offences crimes such as shoplifting & stealing sheep, cattle & horses. Today, capital punishment is on the decline.
Since the Industrial Revolution, the overall number of hours worked has declined in tandem with increasing prosperity.
From socialist dictatorships to free trade, the prospects for African growth are looking better than ever.
Studies consistently find that people in developed societies tend to be pessimistic about their country and the world but optimistic about their own lives. They expect to earn more and to stay married longer than they generally do.
Trade has enriched humanity, continuously providing cheaper and better goods while dramatically decreasing global poverty. Extreme poverty's end is now in sight. Yet we seldom hear of the incredible benefits of free exchange.
Between 2001 and 2017, GDP per person in Sub-Saharan Africa increased by more than 46%.
James Watt's first profitable dual-cylinder steam engine came on the market on March 8, 1776, a day before Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations was first published. Little did the two Scotsmen know that they were about to change the world forever.
Worrying about overpopulation makes little sense. Especially as fertility rates are already falling.
Wilberforce introduced anti-slavery bills in 1791, 1792, 1793, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1804 and 1805, but all were defeated. However, in 1807 he was successful in passing the Slave Trade Act which banned the trading of slaves throughout the British Empire.
John Stuart Mill summarized in 1828: "I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage." It's cool to be gloomy.
Although much work is still to be done, Ross’ discovery has allowed for immense progress in combatting malaria. Incidences of malaria continue to fall and the WHO estimates that malaria deaths fell more than 47% between 2000-2015. #HeroesOfProgress
Food in America has become substantially cheaper over the past century. Find that hard to believe? Check out our calculations here:
The European Union's opposition to genetically modified foods is unscientific. GMOs used elsewhere in the world have reduced pesticide use by 36.9 percent, while increasing yields by 21.6 percent.
"Since 1970, the US has slashed its emissions of five air pollutants by almost two-thirds. Over the same period, the population grew by more than 40 percent, and those people drove twice as many miles and became two and a half times richer."-
"In reality, the natural state of mankind was no Eden. Instead, it consisted of grinding poverty punctuated by horrific violence, terminating with an early death. It was like this for a very, very long time." -
The first major outbreak of polio happened in the United States in 1916, when the disease infected 27,000 people and killed more than 7,000 people. The second major outbreak of polio in 20th century America happened in the 1950s. Enter, Jonas Salk.
VIDEO 🔊🔊 “Every generation thinks that the world is entering a period of decline. In fact it is us who are projecting our own physical decline onto the world,” says Marian L. Tupy. For more on the history of pessimism: Full chat:
“We are witnessing the first decline in global inequality between world citizens since the Industrial Revolution.”-- Branko Milanovic
Jason Hickel asserts that people in the past didn't need money in order to live well. In fact, lives of ordinary Western Europeans prior to the Industrial Revolution were dismal and fully in accord with Max Roser's definition of absolute poverty.
Over 50% of Americans find themselves among the top 10% of income-earners for at least one year during their lives. Over 11% of Americans will be among the top 1% for at least one year. The rate of turnover in these groups is extremely high.
Plane crashes have been getting steadily scarcer—2017 was the first year with no commercial passenger plane crashes at all —but many people still consider planes a risky mode of transport.
As running water, electricity, washing machines, and other modern conveniences spread, time spent on housework plummeted.
At the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, the world’s countries set the goal of halving the 1990 incidence of extreme poverty by 2015. This was met more than five years ahead of deadline.
Between 1990 and 2016, the malaria death rate dropped from 14.2 per 100,000 infections to 9.7, and incidence declined from 15.8 in 10,000 people in 2000 to 9.4 in 2015.
It took about 50 years between the time that the telephone was invented and the time that 50% of US households owned one. In contrast, it took just 12 years from the emerge of the smartphone for 50% of individual Americans to own one.
The rich are getting richer — and the poor are getting richer too. #HumanProgressData
“Socialists did not see that the working class would be enriched by capitalism.”—Deirdre McCloskey. To learn more
The news that a man has been cured of HIV shows hows how far the world has come since AIDS first came into global consciousness in the 1980s . For more on the how humanity is winning the war on AIDS, visit: . Graphic from
New series: Heroes of Human Progress. The first choice was obvious: Giga-lifesaver and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug. Check out #HumanProgressData
VIDEO 🔊🔊 Watch our editor Marian L. Tupy discuss the environmental Kuznets curve and how economic development can help the environment. To find out more about, visit: Full chat:
Archaeologists have uncovered and translated a great deal of tablets left from ancient civilisations. Many of the tablets from Babylonia and Assyria, in contemporary Iraq and Syria, are receipts of economic ventures.
In the past, travelling was difficult and often dangerous. Roads were rutted. Sailing was hazardous. Highwaymen and pirates were ubiquitous. Moreover, many people were not free to travel. Serfs and slaves could not journey without their masters’ permission
Even the richest and most powerful people of the past could not begin to imagine of the riches and conveniences enjoyed by ordinary people today.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
In the past, even the rich and powerful tended to avoid bathing. Elizabeth I took a bath once a month, “whether she needed it or not,” but her successor, James I, only washed his fingers.
Green misery-monger Paul Ehrlich once wrote that giving cheap, abundant energy to humanity would be like “giving an idiot child a machine gun”. On the contrary, cutting the cost of energy is absolutely central to delivering prosperity and fairness
In 1968, a 23” color TV cost $2,544 or 125 hours of labor in the manufacturing sector. In 2018, a 24” HD LED TV cost $99.99 or 4.7 hours of labor in the same sector. That’s a reduction of 96 per cent in terms of human effort.
By 1963, 95 percent of Mexico’s wheat was Norman Borlaug’s variety and Mexico’s wheat harvest grew six times larger than it had been when he first set foot in the country nineteen years earlier. #HeroesofProgress
The Food Price Index shows that the inflation-adjusted price of food in 2017 was lower than what it was in 1961. More people than ever have access to adequate nutrition.
It is an underappreciated fact that women are hit particularly hard by the United States’ ever-increasing tariffs on imports.
“In a milestone for human rights in the Middle East, a Lebanese court issued a new judgement holding that homosexuality is not a crime” according to . For more on the shifting attitudes towards gay rights, visit:
“In many villages [of the Austrian Empire] the dung has to be carried on human backs up high mountains and the soil has to be scraped in a crouching position; this is the reason why most of the young people [men and women] are deformed and misshapen.”
Unlimited cheap energy would transform society
One third of Americans in the millennial generation say they are deeply concerned about the environmental impact of having children.
The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.
Chile and Venezuela stand at two extremes in terms of development in Latin America. One is a success story, the other suffers from one of the most acute humanitarian crises ever seen in the Western Hemisphere. Why is that so?
Socialism is back in vogue, especially among America’s college-educated youth. They are too young to remember the Cold War and few study history.
The reason why most people labor under a misapprehension about the state of the world’s forests is that news stories often ignore reforestation. In about half the world, there is net reforestation—not despite economic development, but because of it.
Americans remain among the most generous people on Earth. Last year alone, Americans contributed more than $410 billion to charity. On top of that, more than 77 million Americans spent almost 7 billion hours volunteering last year.
Amid all the talk of an imminent planetary catastrophe, another fact is often ignored: global greening is happening faster than global warming.
Karl Marx thought market competition would drive down profits, thus necessitating ever greater exploitation of workers. But in fact, real average global income per person rose by factor of 10 over the last 200 hundred years.
Capitalism is one the most cooperative of human endeavors. Repeated transactions among trading parties encourage trustworthiness – a moral side product of capitalism that we do not spend enough time talking about, let alone celebrating.
In 1800, 43% of children died before their fifth birthday. Today, less than 4% do.
"Poverty is not a result of lack of resources or opportunities, but of poor institutions, poor government, and toxic politics." - Angus Deaton
Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising—the results of socialist economics are often predictable.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
The reason why most people labor under a misapprehension about the state of the world’s forests is that news stories often ignore reforestation. In about half the world, there is net reforestation—not despite economic development, but because of it.
Karl Marx thought that capitalism inevitably made the rich richer and the poor poorer. By the time Marx died, however, the average Englishman was three times richer than at the time of his birth 65 years earlier. -
The environmentalist movement, which started as a noble effort to make people and nature more symbiotic, increasingly sees humans as a plague on the planet. As such, environmentalism is at risk of turning into a fully-fledged credo of anti-humanism.
Karl Marx thought market competition would drive down profits, thus necessitating ever greater exploitation of workers. But in fact, real average global income per person rose by factor of 10 over the last 200 hundred years.
Yearly net deforestation is fast approaching zero and according to current trends, within the next couple of decades net afforestation will be the norm. This tremendous news is something to truly shout from the treetops.
Yearly net deforestation is fast approaching zero and according to current trends, within the next couple of decades net afforestation will be the norm. This tremendous news is something to truly shout from the treetops.
“It is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women.” - Camille Paglia
In 1968, a 23” color TV cost $2,544 or 125 hours of labor in the manufacturing sector. In 2018, a 24” HD LED TV cost $99.99 or 4.7 hours of labor in the same sector. That’s a reduction of 96 per cent in terms of human effort.
Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising—the results of socialist economics are often predictable.
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
Today the world's population is at a record high, and famines have all but vanished outside of war zones. Even in Sub Saharan Africa, the poorest area on the planet, the food supply now far exceeds the recommended 2,000 calories per person per day.
In 1960, South Korea's average income was $1,102. Ghana's was $1,053. By 2015, South Korea had reached $25,022, while Ghana only rose to $1,696. Yet Ghana received much more in net official development aid per capita than South Korea between 1960 and 2015.
According to the U.S. economist Thomas Sowell, "Most working Americans, who were initially in the bottom 20% of income-earners, rise out of that bottom 20%. More of them end up in the top 20% than remain in the bottom 20%."
In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%.
"It is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women." - Camille Paglia
This is the most important piece of news you’ll hear in a while: as of last week, more than half of the world’s people are middle class. For the first time in history, the majority of mankind is no longer poor, or vulnerable to fall into poverty.
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
Karl Marx thought market competition would drive down profits, thus necessitating ever greater exploitation of workers. But in fact, real average global income per person rose by factor of 10 over the last 200 hundred years.
In the mid-1970’s, Chile abandoned socialism and began implementing economic reforms. In 2016, Chile was the world’s 15th freest economy. Venezuela, in the meantime declined from being the world’s 15th freest economy in 1975, to the least free in 2016.
The communist system didn’t produce machines to make women’s lives easier for the same reason it neglected their other needs and wants.
Chinese average income grew from $4,148 in 2001 to $16,924 in 2017. But Chinese growth did not make other countries poorer. U.S. income grew from $47,805 to $ 58,042—a 21% increase. The global average income rose from $11,347 to $17,197—a 52% increase.
The European Union's opposition to genetically modified foods is unscientific. GMOs used elsewhere in the world have reduced pesticide use by 36.9 percent, while increasing yields by 21.6 percent.
Between 1975 and 2019, the Chilean economy grew by 293 percent. Venezuela’s shrunk by 54 percent.
The speed of poverty alleviation in the last 25 years has been historically unprecedented: more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty in the last quarter century.
“Capitalism has worked very well. Anyone who wants to move to North Korea is welcome." -- Bill Gates
The communist system didn’t produce machines to make women’s lives easier for the same reason it neglected their other needs and wants.
Socialism is back in vogue, especially among America’s college-educated youth. They are too young to remember the Cold War and few study history.
Six out of the ten worst famines of the 20th century happened because of central planning.
In 1800, 43% of children died before their fifth birthday. Today, less than 4% do.
As late as 1971, only 43.3% of all US households had a color TV. By 2005, 97.4% of poor American households owned one. Similar stories can be told of washing machines, dishwashers, clothes dryers, refrigerators, freezers, stoves and vacuum cleaners.
Venezuela’s annual inflation is more than 80,000 percent and it is estimated that almost 90 percent of Venezuelans now live in poverty. However, it’s important to remember that conditions in Venezuela haven’t always been this tragic.
Global poverty has halved over the past 20 years, and yet 92% of Americans and 87% globally believe the share of the world population in extreme poverty has either increased or stayed the same over the last two decades.
Extreme poverty has declined from afflicting 85 percent of the world's population in 1800 to less than 10 percent today. If that trend continues, extreme poverty will be gone by 2030.
Free market capitalism has delivered what Marx had long desired — shorter working hours and higher income.
"We have centuries of evidence now that capitalist economies do better at delivering high standards of living to their citizens than do economies run by communist, authoritarian, or other nonmarket systems. " [email protected] To learn more
In 1970, Harvard University biologist George Wald claimed that "civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." His prediction would place the end of civilization sometime between 1985 and 2000
In 1968, a 23” color TV cost $2,544 or 125 hours of labor in the manufacturing sector. In 2018, a 24” HD LED TV cost $99.99 or 4.7 hours of labor in the same sector. That’s a reduction of 96 per cent in terms of human effort.
A realistic picture of the human condition should compare the imperfect present with a much more imperfect past rather than with an imagined utopia in the future, as well as acknowledge the truly incredible progress that humanity has already made.
Prosperity is proportional to freedom. Poor people are more than seven times richer in free countries than their counterparts in less free countries.
The world’s richest regions, such as North America and Europe, are not only increasing their forest area. They have more forests than they did prior to industrialization.
We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up... The only sound way to appraise the state of the world is to count.
Since their own money is on the line, entrepreneurs tend to be much better at spotting good investment opportunities than government bureaucrats. That is why market economies, not socialist ones, are the leaders in technological innovation and progress.
Free enterprise has delivered what Marx had long desired - less work and higher income.
Socialism is back in vogue, especially among America’s college-educated youth. They are too young to remember the Cold War and few study history.
If fusion makes energy “too cheap to meter,” we could make as much fresh water as we fancied, through desalination, to water the deserts. We could grow food indoors to release the countryside for nature. Africa could become as wealthy as America.
"Paul Ehrlich's book The Population Bomb was published declaring it a fantasy that India would ever feed itself. His prediction was wrong before the ink was dry. By 1974, India was a net exporter of wheat. Wheat production had tripled." --
“Industrialization has been good for humanity. It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children.” -- . To learn more
"Go into the London Stock Exchange ... and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men. Here Jew, Mohammedan and Christian deal with each other as though they were all of the same faith..." - Voltaire.
A 2014 German survey found that the introduction of genetic modification elsewhere in the world had reduced pesticide use by 36.9 per cent on average, while increasing yields by 21.6 per cent.
The truth is that aid has never lifted a single country out of poverty and in some cases even hinders international development. Haiti is famously host to >10,000 aid NGOs, but charity has perversely harmed local industries and led to a cycle of dependence
Since the new millennium's start, Africa's average per capita income rose by more than 50 percent.
"Poverty is not a result of lack of resources or opportunities, but of poor institutions, poor government, and toxic politics." - Angus Deaton
The communist system didn’t produce machines to make women’s lives easier for the same reason it neglected their other needs and wants: lack of market signals and incentives
The astonishing wastefulness of the Soviet economy did not become apparent until the 1970s. By that time, unfortunately, the socialist bacillus had infected much of Africa, which adopted one-party government that destroyed accountability and rule of law.
Karl Marx thought market competition would drive down profits, thus necessitating ever greater exploitation of workers. But in fact, real average global income per person rose by factor of 10 over the last 200 hundred years.
The Homo sapiens has been on this earth for 200,000 years. For 99.9 percent of that time, we lived in ignorance, poverty and misery. Thanks to industrialization and trade, the world has improved miraculously.
The rich are getting richer — and the poor are getting richer too.
Capitalism is one the most cooperative of human endeavors. Repeated transactions among trading parties encourage trustworthiness – a moral side product of capitalism that we do not spend enough time talking about, let alone celebrating.
In 1950, Singapore's average income was 48% of the U.K.'s. In 2016, Singaporeans earned 94% more than the British.
The United Kingdom has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago.
Amid all the talk of an imminent planetary catastrophe, another fact is often ignored: global greening is happening faster than global warming.
“Deforestation has stopped in wealthy countries. Europe’s forest area grew by more than 0.3% annually from 1990 to 2015. In the United States it is growing by 0.1% annually.”— #green
“Most African nations took the socialist route after independence... Socialism, the antithesis of capitalism, was advocated as the only road to Africa’s prosperity… and in its wake followed economic atrophy, repression and dictatorship.”
The idea of the environment as a clean canvas being steadily spoiled by humanity is simplistic and wrong. As we become richer, we have become cleaner and greener. — Alex Epstein
People are richer and food is cheaper. Average global income per person per day rose from $3.7 in 1900 to $35 in 2000, while the price of food in 2017 was lower than in 1961. Taking a longer view, the Grilli-Yang Food Price Index halved between 1906 & 2006
In 2006, Al Gore warned that unless drastic measures were taken “within the next 10 years,” the world would “reach a point of no return.” That would place “the point of no return” in 2016.
Today world population is at a record high, but famines have all but vanished outside of war zones. Even in Sub Saharan Africa, the poorest area on the planet, the food supply now exceeds the recommended 2,000 calories per person per day.
The notion that Green Climate Fund's money will be will used for environmental "adaptation and mitigation" is a fantasy. Like much foreign aid, most of the "green aid" money will likely end up in the pockets of some of the most corrupt people on earth.
Socialism is back in vogue, especially among America’s college-educated youth. They are too young to remember the Cold War and few study history.
Now this is a #10YearChallenge the team can get behind! For more on how much better the world is getting, visit: . Photo courtesy of .
The speed of poverty alleviation in the last 25 years has been historically unprecedented: more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty in the last quarter century.
In 1970, Harvard University biologist George Wald claimed that "civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." His prediction would place the end of civilization sometime between 1985 and 2000
The world's poorest people are getting richer faster than ever before. In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, that number fell to 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6% lived in extreme poverty.
Since the new millennium's start, Africa's average per capita income rose by more than 50 percent.
Harvard University psychologist estimates that 61 workers per 100,000 employees died in work-related accidents as late as 1913. That number fell to 3.2 in 2015. That’s a 95% reduction in work fatalities over a little more than 100 years.
In 15th century England, 80% of income was spent on food. Of that amount, 20% was spent on bread alone. By 2013 only 10% of private expenditure in the U,S, was spent on food, a figure which is itself inflated by the amount Americans spend in restaurants.
Even those in poverty have access to a technology that was previously limited to the mega-rich: 99.8% of Americans own at least one refrigerator, even though 13.5% are classified as in poverty.
The declining cost of cool air....
“Since 1970 … the US has slashed its emissions of five air pollutants by almost two-thirds. Over the same period, the population grew by more than 40 percent, and those people drove twice as many miles and became two and a half times richer.” -
Venezuela’s annual inflation is more than 80,000 percent and it is estimated that almost 90 percent of Venezuelans now live in poverty. However, it’s important to remember that conditions in Venezuela haven’t always been this tragic.
“Humanity is not on an irrevocable path to ecological suicide. As the world gets richer and more tech-savvy, it dematerializes, decarbonizes, and densifies, sparing land and species.”—
The communist system didn’t produce machines to make women’s lives easier for the same reason it neglected their other needs and wants.
Is overpopulation a problem? A new study from Human Progress finds that every additional human being born appears to make resources proportionally more plentiful.
The poorest 10% of income earners in the freest nations make 7.9 times more than the poorest 10% in the least free nations.
"As we get richer, our tolerance for global poverty diminishes. So we get angrier about injustices ... But ... extreme poverty has decreased [to] single digits for the first time in history." -
In 2006, Al Gore warned that unless drastic measures were taken “within the next 10 years,” the world would “reach a point of no return.” That would place “the point of no return” in 2016.
The truth is that aid has never lifted a single country out of poverty and in some cases even hinders international development. Haiti is famously host to >10,000 aid NGOs, but charity has perversely harmed local industries and led to a cycle of dependence
Few have heard the name Norman Borlaug, but his work saved the lives of one billion people and truly changed the fate of humanity, for the better. #HeroesofProgress
The United Kingdom has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago.
"We have centuries of evidence now that capitalist economies do better at delivering high standards of living to their citizens than do economies run by communist, authoritarian, or other nonmarket systems." -
Research suggests that much of foreign aid ends up in the pockets of corrupt government bureaucrats instead of reaching the intended beneficiaries. In 2012, then World Bank President Ban Ki-moon claimed 30% of aid "failed to reach its final destination".
The United Kingdom has more than tripled its forest area since 1919. The UK will soon reach forest levels equal to those registered in the Domesday Book, almost a thousand years ago.
The European Union's opposition to genetically modified foods is unscientific. GMOs used elsewhere in the world have reduced pesticide use by 36.9 percent, while increasing yields by 21.6 percent.
In the year 353, a bishop called Hilary of Poitiers predicted that the world would end in just 12 years, in 365. It is a safe bet that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's recent forecast ends up as inaccurate as his was.
Over the past 37 years, every additional human being born on our planet appears to have made resources proportionately more plentiful for the rest of us. Put differently, the relationship between population growth and abundance seems to be a positive one.
A realistic picture of the human condition should compare the imperfect present with a much more imperfect past rather than with an imagined utopia in the future, as well as acknowledge the truly incredible progress that humanity has already made.
Capitalism is one the most cooperative of human endeavors. Repeated transactions among trading parties encourage trustworthiness-- a moral side product of capitalism that we do not spend enough time talking about, let alone celebrating.
Many people think that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. They're half right: the rich are getting richer. However, the poor are becoming richer as well.
Sadly, techno-pessimists have managed to enact bans or partial bans on a great variety of technologies. These include "horseless carriages" (cars), "automatic lifts" (elevators), and "the most dangerous thing to life and property ever invented" (bicycles).
The Earth was 379.6% more abundant in 2017 than it was in 1980. Find that hard to believe? Read the HumanProgress’ new study
Salk’s work has saved hundreds of millions of people from crippling paralysis, and millions from death. Thanks to his vaccine, Polio, a disease that has plagued humanity since pharaonic Egypt is almost completely eradicated. #HeroesOfProgress
Contrary to popular belief, America's middle class is disappearing primarily because people are moving into higher income groups — not because they are falling into poverty. #HumanProgressData
Extreme poverty has declined significantly, to the point where its end may actually be in sight. #HumanProgressData
Despite what we hear on the news and from many authorities, the great story of our era is that we are witnessing the greatest improvement in global living standards ever to take place.
Despite apocalyptic predictions, an average person today is much better off than he or she would have been at any previous period in human history.
The Industrial Revolution did not cause hunger, poverty and child labor. It helped to eliminate them.
Extreme poverty fell from 36% in 1990 to less than 10% today. It is fascinating that this progress takes place just as many in the West are starting to doubt free trade and global capitalism.
In 1800, 43% of children died before their fifth birthday. Today, less than 4% do.
In just 14 years (from 2001-2015), global rates of infant mortality fell by more than 38%.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stated “Capitalism is irredeemable.” In fact, a market that functions relatively freely and competitively delivers enormous benefits to all people - especially those at the bottom of the income ladder.
In 1981, less than 10% of urban Chinese households had a washing machine. But by 2011, 97.05% did. In 1985, less than 5% of rural Chinese households had a washing machine. By 2011, 62.57% owned one.
If you are poor, it is substantially better to live in a freer economy. The bottom 10% of income earners in the freest countries make, on average, 7.9 times more than the poorest 10% in the least free nations.
A child born today is more likely to reach retirement age than his forebearers were to live to their fifth birthday.
In 1968, Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, which began: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”
In the 1987 movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko is shown with his Motorola DynaTac 8000x cellphone. It weighed 2 lbs. and cost $3,995 ($9,835 in today's money). The point of the scene was simple: he was rich. In 1989, just 1.4% of Americans had a cellphone.