Project Leader / Primary Investigator

Dr. Max Roser

On this web publication we are presenting the long-term research on how and why living conditions around the world are changing. The idea is to tell the history of our present world – based on empirical data and visualised in graphs.

Individual data entries deal with the different aspects of living standards: We cover health, food provision, growth and distribution of incomes, violence, rights, wars, education, environmental changes and many other aspects.

Topic by topic we visualise the empirical data to show how the world is changing. Many of the data visualisations are interactive. The articles cross-reference each other to make it possible for the reader to learn about the drivers of the observed long-run trends. For each topic the quality of the data is discussed and, by pointing the visitor to the sources, this website works as a database of databases – a meta-database.

The target audiences are both members of the general public and academics: Many members of the general public are interested in how the world is changing but find it hard to get access to the relevant research. To address this issue we are drawing together the best quantitative work and make it accessible by visualising the data. Thereby we show the progress humanity has made and also highlight the challenges that lie ahead.

For academics it is a platform where research results of quantitative science are presented. Thus it is a starting point for researchers making it easier to find both data sources and analysis on a wide range of topics. This meta-database is freely available and our own data visualisations for this website are made available under a Creative Commons license. Accessibility and visualisations also make it an ideal teaching tool.