The Economic Perspective: “Economic Improvements in the World”

I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at economic improvements in the world.   Mike, it seems like every day we read and hear about problems in the world related to conflict, storms, and poverty.  It’s easy to get the feeling things are getting worse rather than better.  How accurate are these daily snapshots?


Mike: Summary Answer

  1. They are accurate as they are, but can miss many longer-run changes that have been very positive
  2. For example, according to a new report from the World Bank, as recently as 1950 70% of the world’s population was living in poverty; today it’s 50%, and the trend is down
  3. Similarly, half of the world’s households are now considered middle class or above
  4. Many diseases that were common have now been eradicated
  5. Last, death from wars has been dropping
  6. So, much to smile about
  7. I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.