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Think things are bad? Here are 14 Reasons the World is Getting Better

Roughly 10% of the whole world lives in extreme poverty, the youngest nation is falling apart and inequality is rising just about everywhere. That is only a sliver of the terrible things happening around the world right now. Thinking about (and reporting on) such topics can get depressing and lead one to think that all is bad.

The fact is, the world is getting better across just about every measure. Extreme poverty is at an all time low, more girls are getting an education and fewer children are dying. There is a long way to go, but progress is being made.

In short: People are living longer, less hungry and better connected than 10 years ago. How awesome is that?

For those of you feeling a bit down, here are a fourteen reasons to be optimistic, according to vlogger and author John Green:

  1. Divorce rates in the US are at the lowest rate since 1970.
  2. The rate of unintended pregnancies has declined.
  3. Infant mortality is at an all time low.
  4. Colts made the playoffs
  5. Absolute poverty has decreased more in the last 50 years than over the previous 500 years.
  6. Cancer mortality rates have dropped by 25% in the US over the past 2 decades.
  7. Internet is reaching more people at higher speeds.
  8. Airfare prices down nearly 50% since 1985.
  9. You can fly to more places than ever before and it is safer.
  10. Vehicle safety has helped save some 60,000 lives in the US in 2013 as compared to 1980.
  11. Fewer cats and dogs are euthanized each year in the US.
  12. People dying of malaria is down
  13. More women are going to school
  14. Literacy rates have increased.



About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]