NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

2014: Best Year on Record?

January 2, 2015

Undoubtedly, from Ebola to ISIS, 2014 was not without its problems. But despite those things, the globe is actually more peaceful today than ever before, according to British writer Fraser Nelson in the Telegraph. In fact, 2014 marked an excellent year for human progress:

  • Since 1990, global life expectancy has increased by six years -- today, it is at 71.5 years. Life expectancy has risen by five years in Western Europe since 1990 and 15 years in the African nations of Rwanda and Ethiopia.
  • Living in "extreme poverty" means living on less than $1.25 per day. Since 1990, the extreme poverty rate has been cut in half.
  • Cold weather used to kill 25,000 elderly British citizens each year. This past winter, the number fell to 18,200, the lowest number on record since the count began in 1950.
  • The U.K. economy has grown by 60 percent since 1990, yet new technologies have caused greenhouse gas emissions to decrease.

Nelson writes gives capitalism the credit for transmitting wealth across the globe.

Source: Fraser Nelson, "Goodbye to one of the best years in history," Telegraph, December 26, 2014.


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