In a world where negative headlines dominate the news cycle, let’s take a step back and recognize the progress made in recent years. From improvements in global health to strides toward peace, there are many reasons for optimism about the future. Here, we’ll take snapshots of eight ways the world is becoming healthier and more peaceful, backed by facts and statistics.
Special to the Roosevelt Island Daily News
1. Global Life Expectancy on the Rise
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global life expectancy has increased by 52.87 years in 1960 to 72.27 years today. This remarkable growth can be attributed to factors such as advancements in medicine, improved access to healthcare, and better living conditions.
2. Declining Child Mortality Rates
The World Health Organization reports that infant mortality rates have declined from 65 per thousand in 1990 to 29 in 2018. This significant progress is due to increased access to vaccines, better nutrition, and improved maternal care.
3. Eradication of Deadly Diseases
The world has witnessed the eradication of smallpox and is close to eliminating polio and Guinea worm disease. These successes are a testament to global vaccination and disease control efforts, as well as international cooperation.
4. Increased Access to Clean Water and Sanitation
According to the United Nations, 74% of the global population now has access to safe drinking water, and 68% have access to proper sanitation facilities. Those are still troubling but improvements have reduced waterborne diseases and strengthened overall health.
5. Reduction in Extreme Poverty
Our World in Data reports that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has decreased from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 736 million today. Economic growth, better access to education and targeted poverty reduction programs contributed to this significant decline.
6. Global Literacy Rates on the Rise
According to UNESCO, global literacy rates have increased over the last five decades from 67 to 87%. Increased access to education has not only improved individual lives but also fostered economic development and social cohesion.
7. Progress in Gender Equality
While gender inequality persists, globally it has improved by 63 percent, from an average of 46 in 1970 to 75 in 2019, an increase of 29 points, according to the World Bank.
Pew Research shows that women account for 28% of the U.S. Congress, the highest in history.
8. International Cooperation and Diplomacy
Global efforts to combat climate change, terrorism, and other shared challenges have led to increased international cooperation and diplomacy. This spirit of collaboration has played a vital role in fostering peace and stability worldwide.
Limitations and Challenges
These positive trends do not imply that all problems have been solved. Inequalities exist, and many regions have challenges – ongoing conflicts, disease outbreaks and environmental degradation. Furthermore, measuring health and peace can be complex, with data limitations and differing definitions often complicating the analysis.
While there is still much work to be done, it’s crucial to acknowledge and celebrate the progress that has been made toward a healthier and more peaceful world. And maintain that momentum.