Sunday, November 25, 2007

The World Is Getting Better

There's a great deal of pessimism about the state of the world today. For example, I was having a conversation with a very intelligent friend of mine, a senior politics major, who stated, with an air of complete confidence, that world-wide poverty was "getting worse." When I asked her how she knew this, she looked confused, then asked, "Isn't it?"

This article in Foreign Policy has the answer: no.

The stats: In 1981, 1.5 billion people were living on less than $1 a day (or, to be more exact, the World Bank’s poverty line of $1.08 in U.S. 1993 dollars, adjusted for purchasing power parity). By 1990, that figure had fallen to 1.25 billion people. By 2004, the extreme poverty rate had fallen to 18.4 percent, or just 985 million people. If current trends continue, the world will achieve the Millennium Development Goal of cutting in half—from 32 percent in 1990 to 16 percent in 2015—the portion of the population in the developing world that ekes by on less than $1 a day.
Need to cheer up? Read the whole thing. It has four other ways the world is getting better, as well.

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