I recently saw a Ted Talk entitled “Is The World Getting Better Or Worse?” by Steven Pinker, and he makes the case that things are indeed getting better despite the world still experiencing problems (for example, democracy has recently suffered setbacks in Venezuela, in Russia, in Turkey and is threatened by the rise of authoritarian populism in Eastern Europe and the United States). Here are some stats comparing 1987 to 2017 Pinker references to build his case:

  • Homicides In The United States: From 8.5 per 100k to 5.3 per 100k
  • Poverty In The United States: From 12% to 7%
  • Sulfur Dioxide Pumped Into The Environment: From 20MM tons to 4MM tons
  • Wars In The World: From 23 to 12
  • Autocracies In The World: From 85 to 60
  • Extreme Poverty In The World: From 37% to 10%
  • Terrorism Deaths In Western Europe: From 440 to 238