Research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems

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3315 charts across 297 topics

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Authored by

  • Max Roser – Founder and editor
  • Esteban Ortiz-Ospina – Social science
  • Hannah Ritchie – Environmental science
  • Joe Hasell – Social science
  • Daniel Gavrilov – Web developer
  • Matthieu Bergel – Web engineer

All our articles on global problems and global changes

Health

Life Expectancy

When and why did the average age at which people die increase and how can we make further progress against early death?

  • The global average life expectancy is 73 years. The global inequality is large.
Child and Infant Mortality

Why are children dying and what can be done to prevent it?

  • Globally 3.9% of all newborns die in the first 5 years of their life. This means that 5.5 million children die per year.
Maternal Mortality

What could be more tragic than a mother losing her life in the moment that she is giving birth to her newborn? Why are mothers dying and what can be done to prevent these deaths?

  • Every year 303,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes.
Global Health

An overview of our research on global health.

Causes of Death

56 million people die every year. What do they die from? How did the causes of death change over time?

Burden of Disease

What is the global impact of disease, disability, accidents, and premature deaths? How is the burden of disease distributed and how did it change over time?

Cancer

Cancers are one of the leading causes of death globally. Are we making progress against cancer?

  • 9.6 million deaths per year, 54% are younger than 70 years.
Mental Health

A global overview of the prevalence of depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

  • It is estimated that 792 million people have a mental health disorder.
Suicide

Every suicide is a tragedy. But they can be prevented.

  • 800,000 die per year; 58% are younger than 50 years old.

Infectious diseases

Health risks

Air Pollution

Air pollution is a major global problem. This is our overview on both indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Outdoor Air Pollution

Outdoor air pollution is one of the world’s largest health and environmental problems.

  • 3.4 Million people die from outdoor air pollution per year, 43% are younger than 70 years.
Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution – caused by the burning of firewood, crop waste, and dung for cooking and heating – is a major health risk of the world’s poorest.

  • 1.6 million people die from indoor air pollution per year, 55% are younger than 70 years.
Obesity

When did obesity increase? How do rates vary across the world? What is the health impact?

  • Globally 13% of adults are obese.
  • Obesity is responsible for 4.7 million premature deaths per year, 53% are younger than 70 years.
Smoking

Tobacco smoking is one of the world’s largest health problems today.

  • Per year 8.1 million die prematurely as a result of smoking. Half are younger than 70 years.
Alcohol Consumption

Who consumes the most alcohol? How has consumption changed over time? And what are the health impacts?

  • Every year 2.8 million die prematurely as a result of alcohol consumption. 74% are younger than 70 years.
Drug Use

Drug use – which includes smoking, alcohol, and illicit drug use is one of the world’s largest health problems today.

  • Per year 11.8 million people die prematurely as a result of tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and illicit drug use.
Opioids, cocaine, cannabis and illicit drugs

How common is the use and addiction to opioids, cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis? What is the impact?

  • Illicit drugs are responsible for 590,000 premature deaths per year; 42% are younger than 50 years.

Health institutions and interventions

Demographic Change

Population change

Life and death

Distribution of the World Population

Food and Agriculture

Nutrition

Hunger and Undernourishment

What are the consequences of undernourishment and how can we make progress against hunger and undernourishment?

  • 11% of the world population – 820 million people – are undernourished.
  • 22% of children younger than five are ‘stunted’ – they are significantly shorter than the average for their age, as a consequence of poor nutrition or repeated infection.
Famines

In many parts of the world famines have been common in the past. What causes famines? How can famines be averted?

  • Around 130 million people died in famines during the last 150 years according to our historical reconstructions.
Food Supply

How had the availability of food changed over time? How does food supply vary across the world today?

  • 2,884 kcal per capita is the global average food supply.
Human Height

The average height of a population can inform us about the nutrition and living conditions of populations in the past for which we have little other data.

Micronutrient Deficiency

Food is not only a source of energy and protein, but also micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – which are essential to good health. Who is most affected by the ‘hidden hunger’ of micronutrient deficiency?

  • An estimated 2 billion people are deficient in essential micronutrients.
Diet Compositions

A varied diet which is rich in nutrients is essential for good health and wellbeing. The diversity and quality of diets varies significantly across the world.

Food Prices

Food needs to be affordable for people, and at the same it is a key source of income for one-quarter of the world’s labor force.

Obesity

When did obesity increase? How do rates vary across the world? What is the health impact?

  • Globally 13% of adults are obese.
  • Obesity is responsible for 4.7 million premature deaths per year, 53% are younger than 70 years.
Alcohol Consumption

Who consumes the most alcohol? How has consumption changed over time? And what are the health impacts?

  • Every year 2.8 million die prematurely as a result of alcohol consumption. 74% are younger than 70 years.

Food Production

Agricultural inputs

Education and Knowledge

Educational outcomes

Access to Education

Inequality in education

Inputs to education

Media

Energy and Environment

Air and Climate

Energy

Land and Ecosystems

Waste

Water

Poverty and Economic Development

Poverty and Prosperity

Economic Inequality

Labor

Public Sector

Corruption

Living conditions, Community and Wellbeing

Culture

Housing