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

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3172 charts across 297 topics

All free: open access and open source

Authored by

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

Based at the University of Oxford

Research by topic

Population

World Population Growth

In the 20th century the world population increased from 1.5 billion to 6.1 billion. Now closing in on 8 billion, population growth is slowing. How has population growth varied across the world? How has population changed over our history? See global and country-level data.

Life Expectancy

How does life expectancy vary across the world - where do people live the longest and shortest? How has life expectancy changed over time, and what determines our longevity? See global and country-level data.

Child & Infant Mortality

A century ago every 3rd child died before reaching the age of five. This is now well below 1-in-20. Still, 5 million children die every year. How do rates of child deaths vary across the world? How has this changed with time? See global and country-level data on child mortality.

Future Population Growth

The global population increased more than 400% over the 20th century. Population growth is now slowing. What do forecasts of future population growth look like? How many people will there be in the world in 2050 or 2100? See global and country-level data of future population growth.

Fertility Rate

Fertility rate measures the average number of children per woman. In recent decades the global fertility rate has halved. But how does children per woman vary across the world? Which countries have the most and least children? See global and country-level data.

Age Structure

As populations grow, demographics change, and life expectancy increases, the age structure of populations is changing. Whilst some countries have a very young population, others are facing a new challenge of population ageing. See global and country-level data on the age structure.

Gender Ratio

Are there more men or women in the world? How does this ratio vary by country, and how does it change from birth to old age? Explore differences in gender ratio across the world and the biological, social, technological, cultural, and economic forces that shape them.

Health

Diarrheal diseases

Diarrheal diseases were the third leading cause of death in children under 5 in 2017 and are becoming an increasing burden in people aged 70 and over.

Outdoor Air Pollution

Outdoor air pollution is one the world's largest health and environmental challenges. An estimated 3.4 million premature deaths result from outdoor air pollution each year.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under 5 — more than 800,000 children died due to pneumonia in 2017.

Global Health

Global health has changed dramatically in recent decades. What do health inequalities look like? Is child mortality rising or falling? Which countries are living shorter or longer lives? See global and country-level data on changes in health.

Life Expectancy

How does life expectancy vary across the world - where do people live the longest and shortest? How has life expectancy changed over time, and what determines our longevity? See global and country-level data.

Air Pollution

How do levels of air pollution vary across the world? What are the health and mortality impacts of exposure to air pollution? See global and country-level data on air pollution and its consequences.

Burden of Disease

Death rates or life expectancy metrics fail to capture quality of life: our health status. How has the burden of disease changed over time? Were we healthier in the past? Are rich countries more or less healthy than others? See global and country-level data on burden of disease.

Child & Infant Mortality

A century ago every 3rd child died before reaching the age of five. This is now well below 1-in-20. Still, 5 million children die every year. How do rates of child deaths vary across the world? How has this changed with time? See global and country-level data on child mortality.

Financing Healthcare

Health is a fundamental driver of our overall quality of life. Healthcare is one of the key inputs for good health. How is healthcare financed across the world? How much do countries pay? See global and country-level data on financing healthcare and its impact on health outcomes.

Causes of Death

What do people die from? How does this vary around the world, and how has it changed over time? Explore global and country data on causes of death.

Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution, caused by inefficient burning of solid fuels for cooking and heating. It comes with significant negative health impacts, and is estimated to cause 1.6 million premature deaths each year. How does indoor air pollution vary across the world? See global and country-level data on air pollution and its impacts.

Smallpox

Smallpox is the only human disease to be eradicated. How did the world achieve this? See global data and research on the history of smallpox, its prevalence, and its eventual decline to eradication.

Malaria

Malaria is one the world's largest preventable killers. How many people die from malaria each year? Are deaths rising or falling? See global and country-level data on the prevalence of malaria, deaths and prevention.

HIV / AIDS

HIV is a lentivirus which can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). How is the world doing on its fight against HIV/AIDS? Is it on the decline? See global and country-level data on prevalence, deaths, prevention and treatment over time.

Polio

Polio is an infectious disease for which there is no cure. Yet through vaccination, it's the closest human disease to eradication. In 2017 it was circulated in only 3 countries. How did we achieve this progress towards eradication? See global and country-level data on polio cases, death and elimination.

Vaccination

Vaccines have greatly reduced the prevalence of diseases. How do vaccines work? Who across the world receives them? How have they reduced the burden of disease? See global and country-level data on vaccination.

Eradication of Diseases

Smallpox was the first and only human disease to be eradicated. How far are we from the eradication of other human diseases - polio, HIV/AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis? See global and country-level data on cases, deaths and treatment of diseases.

Maternal Mortality

Maternal mortality is the death of a mother during or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy. How do maternal mortality rates vary across the world? Are they rising or falling? See global and country-level data on maternal health.

Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world - every 6th person dies from it. How common is cancer? How does this vary by type? Are cancer deaths going up or down? See global and country-level data on cancer prevalence, deaths and survival rates.

Smoking

Smoking is one of the largest risk factors for health. It's estimated to kill 7 million prematurely every year. But how do rates of smoking vary across the world? How has this changed over time? See global and country-level data on smoking prevalence, health impacts and deaths.

Alcohol Consumption

How does alcohol consumption vary around the world? What and how much do people drink and what are its impacts, ranging from health to addiction and crime? See global and country data on alcohol consumption.

Drug Use

Substance use is broad in its definition, and can range from moderate to excessive consumption. How does substance use vary around the world? What is the prevalence of substance use dependency, and what are the consequences? See global and country-level data on this topic.

Mental Health

Around 1-in-5 people globally have a mental health disorder at any given time. What is the prevalence of mental health across the world? Is depression and anxiety on the rise? See global and country-level data on mental health disorders and their impacts.

Suicide

Suicide is a complex issue with a range of potential causes and risk factors. What are the primary risk factors, and how can we understand these to prevent suicide? See global and country-level data and research on suicide and its prevention.

Tetanus

In the early 1990s there were almost 700,000 new cases and 333,000 deaths from tetanus every year. Since the development and deployment of a vaccine against the disease there has been a 89% decline in the number of cases and deaths. See global and country-level progress against this disease.

Food

Pesticides

Hunger and Undernourishment

Hunger, or undernourishment, is defined as a caloric intake below what is needed to lead a healthy and active life. Globally, hunger has been falling yet still 800 million do not have access to sufficient calories. How do hunger rates vary across the world? How is this changing? See global and country-level data.

Food per Person

Feeding a growing global population has been one of the world's greatest challenges. How is the world doing? Can food production keep up with rising demand? See global and country-level data on food availability per person, and how this has changed over time.

Micronutrient Deficiency

Micronutrients are an essential part of nutrition and health. More than 2 billion people globally have micronutrient deficiencies. What is the prevalence of deficiency across the world, and what are the impacts? See global and country-level data.

Diet Compositions

The quantity of food consumed varies significantly across the world, but there are even greater differences in the types of foods we eat. How does the diversity of diets vary from country-to-country? And how has this changed over time? See global and country-level data on the foods we eat.

Obesity

Obesity is one of the world's fastest evolving health challenges. And it's not only a problem in the richest countries: most countries have seen a rapid increase in obesity. How do obesity rates vary across the world? Where have they increased fastest? See global and country-level data on obesity & BMI.

Famines

A famine is an acute episode of extreme hunger that results in excess mortality. Famines have always occurred as the result of a complex mix of ‘technical’ and ‘political’ factors. How has the frequency of famines changed over time? Explore our global and country-level database and visualizations of famines.

Meat and Dairy Production

With more and richer mouths to feed, global demand for meat has seen a rapid rise. How much meat do we produce and consume? What are the consequences of livestock production? See global and country-level data on meat production, consumption and its impacts.

Crop Yields

Crop yields are on the rise – but are they keeping pace with population growth? How can we feed a growing population without increasing agricultural land? See global and country-level data on changes in crop yields.

Land Use

Humans have had a significant impact on land use across the world. From cities and urban areas to farming and deforestation, we have reshaped the terrestrial ecosystems of the planet. See global and country-level data on land use change over time.

Seafood Production

Global production of fish and seafood has quadrupled over the past 50 years. This has increased pressures on wild fish populations, but more sustainable solutions exist. See global and country-level data on seafood production and consumption.

Employment in Agriculture

For millennia, agriculture was the cornerstone of employment and labour. Still today, two-thirds of the working population in the poorest countries are employed in agriculture. But this is changing rapidly. See global and country-level data on agricultural employment over time.

Fertilizers

Fertilizers and pesticides have become an integral input for many agricultural systems. How has production changed over time? How widely are they applied across the world? See global and country-level data on fertilizer and pesticide production, use and impacts.

Food Prices

Food prices not only influence consumer affordability, but also influence the income of farmers and producers. But how do food prices and spending vary across the world? How have prices changed in the past? See global and country-level data on food prices and expenditure.

Human Height

Human height is determined by a range of genetic and environmental factors. How do average heights vary across the world? How have heights changed over time? See global and country-level data on the evolution and differences in human height.

Alcohol Consumption

How does alcohol consumption vary around the world? What and how much do people drink and what are its impacts, ranging from health to addiction and crime? See global and country data on alcohol consumption.

Energy

Energy Production & Changing Energy Sources

Energy has been a fundamental pillar of human development. But fossil fuels and other energy sources also have significant environmental impacts. How do we ensure everyone has access to clean and safe energy? See global and country-level data on energy production, access and changes over time.

CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges of this century. How are emissions changing over time? How are they distributed across the world? Which countries are doing well and poorly in decarbonization? See global and country-level data on CO₂ emissions.

Energy Access

What share of people across the world have access to electricity? How many have access to clean fuels for cooking? There are large inequalities in energy access across the world. Explore global and national data on energy access.

Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are the world's primary energy source. They are also the largest contributor to climate change. How has the consumption of fossil fuels changed over time, and who are the main producers? See global and country-level data on fossil fuel consumption, production, prices and resources.

Renewable Energy

Our global energy systems must transition away from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy. How much of our energy comes from renewables? Are renewables growing and how quickly? See global and country-level data on renewable energy production, consumption, costs and growth.

Environment

Outdoor Air Pollution

Outdoor air pollution is one the world's largest health and environmental challenges. An estimated 3.4 million premature deaths result from outdoor air pollution each year.

CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges of this century. How are emissions changing over time? How are they distributed across the world? Which countries are doing well and poorly in decarbonization? See global and country-level data on CO₂ emissions.

Natural Disasters

Are natural disasters becoming more common? How many people die from disasters? What are the economic costs? Explore global and country-level data on natural disasters and their consequences over time.

Air Pollution

How do levels of air pollution vary across the world? What are the health and mortality impacts of exposure to air pollution? See global and country-level data on air pollution and its consequences.

Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution, caused by inefficient burning of solid fuels for cooking and heating. It comes with significant negative health impacts, and is estimated to cause 1.6 million premature deaths each year. How does indoor air pollution vary across the world? See global and country-level data on air pollution and its impacts.

Ozone Layer

Action on emissions of ozone-depleting substances is one of the best examples of effective international collaboration. How have emissions changed over time? How much of the ozone layer have we depleted, and is recovery possible? Explore data and research on the topic.

Plastic Pollution

Global use of plastics has increased rapidly over the past 50 years. How much plastic do countries produce, how much do we waste, and what enters the oceans? See global and country-level data on plastic pollution and its impacts.

Land Use

Humans have had a significant impact on land use across the world. From cities and urban areas to farming and deforestation, we have reshaped the terrestrial ecosystems of the planet. See global and country-level data on land use change over time.

Oil Spills

Oil spills can have significant environmental, health and ecological impacts - particularly in the world's oceans. See global-level data on how the number of oil spills have changed over time.

Sanitation Access

Access to safe sanitation is an essential basic resource. Increasing sanitation access across the world is essential to reduce negative health outcomes and disease burden. See global and country-level data on sanitation.

Clean Water Access

Access to clean drinking water is a basic human need and right. Increasing clean water access across the world is essential to reduce negative health outcomes and disease burden. See global and country-level data on clean water.

Water Use and Stress

How much freshwater does the world use? How scarce are freshwater resources across the world? See global and country-level data on water use and sanitation.

Work & Life

Happiness and Life Satisfaction

How happy are people today? Were people happier in the past? How satisfied with their lives are people in different societies? And what affects how happy we are? See global and country-level data on happiness and life satisfaction across the world.

Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index provides a combined measure of key pillars of human development: a long and healthy life; education and knowledge; and a high standard of living. How do levels of this index vary across the world? How have they changed with time? See global and country-level data.

Working Hours

Working hours across the world are falling. But how do working hours vary across the world? Do the richest countries work more or less than others? How are hours worked in households changing? See global and country-level data.

Child Labor

How prevalent is child labour in the world? How does this impact on schooling, family income and child wellbeing? See global and country data on child labour and its impacts.

Female Labor Supply

How many women are in formal employment? What about informal and unpaid work? Female labour force participation has changed significantly in recent decades, and still varies across the world. See the data on female labour and its impacts.

Urbanization

More people than ever live in cities. In recent decades we have seen a major shift in populations from rural to urban areas. How has urbanization changed over time? Which are the world's most dense cities? See global and country-level data.

Light

Tracking the use and density of artificial light provides a good understanding of how human civilizations develop over time. The long-term changes in light mark the progress in technological and energy innovations. See global data on how light has changed the world over the long-term.

Homelessness

Homelessness is a problem that continues to exist, even in the world's richest countries. How many people are homeless in high-income countries? Is this number rising or falling? See country-level data on homelessness.

Water Use and Stress

How much freshwater does the world use? How scarce are freshwater resources across the world? See global and country-level data on water use and sanitation.

Education

Global Rise of Education

Global education access and quality has changed rapidly across the world. How does attainment compare across countries? How has this changed over time? See global and country-level data on educational outcomes, enrolment, attendance and schooling.

Pre-Primary Education

How many children go to pre-primary education? How does enrolment in pre-primary education vary across the world? See global and country-level data on attendance, gender ratios, and teaching.

Primary and Secondary Education

Primary and secondary education is not only seen as a right, but also a duty for governments to provide in most countries. How has enrolment, attendance and attainment changed over time? How does education compare across the world? See global and country-level data.

Financing Education

In most countries basic education is not only seen as a right, but also a duty for governments to provide. How do countries fund this vital service? How does spending on education vary across the world? See global and country-level data on financing education.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary (post-secondary) education rates have been rising across the world. What percentage of the population complete tertiary education? How does this vary across countries? See global and country-level data on tertiary enrolment, completion and future projections of education.

Quality of Education

Getting children into - and keeping them in - school has historically been the metric of progress on global education. But the quality of education is becoming increasingly important. How does the quality of education vary across the world? Which countries perform worst and best on attainment? See global and country-level data.

Literacy

Literacy is a key skill and a key measure of a population’s education. How do literacy rates vary across the world? What are the generational differences in literacy? See global and country-level data on changes in literacy.

Educational Mobility & Inequality

Educational access and opportunity is not equal. Inequalities exist across countries, race, gender, religion, and income level. How unequal are our education systems? See global and country-level data.

Returns to Education

Returns to education measures the skill premium or gain from education relative to the costs needed to provide it. What are the paybacks for education? How big is the skill premium? See global and country-level data.

Teachers and Professors

How many teachers are there in the world? At what level do they teach? What do teacher:student ratios look like across the world? See global and country-level data on teachers and professors.

Projections of Future Education

Global education access and attainment is changing rapidly. The youngest generations are more education than previous generations. But how will global education evolve in the coming decades? See global and country-level data on the projections of future education.

Intelligence

The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. How does IQ vary across countries of the world? What impacts intelligence and how has this changed over time? See global and country-level data.