Is the world getting better or worse?

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According to the Economist, the earnings gap between white men and black men is getting wider.

Although the earnings gap between the typical white and black man began narrowing from 1940, the trend stopped in the mid-1970s and has since widened. As of 2018, the difference in earnings was as large as it was in the 1950s.

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Global literacy rates (the ability to read and write) were at their highest, as of 2016.

If you were alive in 1800, there was a chance of 9 in 10 that you weren’t able to read—today more than 8 out of 10 people are able to read. In 1820 only every 10th person older than 15 years was literate; in 1930 it was every third and now we are at 86% globally.

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Global child mortality rates have been dramatically reduced over the last few centuries.

In 2015 child mortality was down to 4.3%—10-fold lower than 2 centuries ago. In pre-modern times around half of all children died—in 1800 the health conditions were such that around 43% of the world’s newborns died before their 5th birthday.

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By all measures, the number of people living in poverty worldwide has reduced dramatically.

As of 2015, the share of the world population in extreme poverty had fallen below 10%—particularly remarkable considering the world population has increased 7-fold over the last two decades. In 1950, two-thirds of the world were still living in extreme poverty.

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