Global well being…
…has exponentially increased over the last 100 years
Just one post this week, because this week’s graph encompasses the last few weeks’ posts in one. Two attempts have been made to measure overall well-being over the last 100-200 years, the UN’s Historical Index of Human Development, and the Well-Being Composite (which comes from the ‘How was life’ project.
They use a variety of measures, such as height (which is a good proxy for health), GDP (which as we’ve seen correlates with many good things), education and homicide rates.
As you can see, both have massively increased over the years, fairly consistently. This is a global effect as well - life in the poorest countries now is better (by these measures) than life in the richest countries not long ago.
This is something worth reflecting on - clearly there are still struggles today (two factors in the Well-Being Composite, income inequality and biodiversity, have not increased in the last 200 years) and there is work to be done. But on the whole our lives today are immeasurably better than those who lived 100 to 200 years ago. And of course we could extrapolate back further to the rest of human history and the measures of well being would stay low.
I hope that’s a reason to be cheerful!