#7. How did the number of deaths per year from natural disasters change over the last hundred years?
A: More than doubled B: Remained about the same C: Decreased to less than half
#10. Worldwide, 30-year-old men have spent 10 years in school, on average. How many years have women of the same age spent in school?
A: 9 years B: 6 years C: 3 years
#12. How many people in the world have some access to electricity?
A: 20% B: 50% C: 80%
You can skip to the bottom for answers if you absolutely must.
If you're one of my clients or you've implemented ANY of my investment advice for building long-term wealth, then you are currently part-owner of literally thousands of the greatest companies around the WORLD. Sounds pretty badass when you put it that way, but it's the truth!
And because you are a global investor, I want to share with you some information about the world. Especially because the "news" is constantly warning us about disasters, murders, and conflicts; it would be easy to believe that our society as whole is headed in the wrong direction.
"Forming your worldview by relying on the media would be like forming your view about me by looking only at a picture of my foot." - Hans Rosling
After reading the book Factfulness by Hans Rosling, I was enlighten to a new paradigm of the world. You may recognize Mr. Rosling from his TED Talks where he shares his life work as a physician and statistician improving global health and teaching people facts about the world - hence the title of his book.
I became especially inspired to share with you my new found knowledge after learning how misinformed most people are about the world (I thought I was alone). For example, Mr. Rosling and his team quizzed over 12,000 people from 14 different countries with 12 simple questions (like the ones above). Because there are only three answers to choose from, you'd assume that the average score would be at least 4. Nope, the average score was 2.2 (US scored 2.6). Worse than random!
If we know so little about the world, how can we make educated decisions, investments, or vote for the best leaders?
I encourage you to take the quiz before I spoil it.
Only 200 year ago, 86% of people in the world lived in extreme poverty on less than $2 per day (inflation adjusted) where they often did not have enough money to buy food. The global life expectancy was 33.8 year old (US average was 39.4). Think about that...
The average women had 6.1 babies throughout her lifetime (US average 6.6) and 42% of those children would die before age 5 (46% in US) as virtually no babies were vaccinated and access to doctors was limited.
This was 61 years before the first light bulb was invented and about 90% of people could not read. The world was full of devastating disease, violence, and less than 1% of people lived under a democratic government.
Today, humans plagued by extreme poverty is down from 86% to 10% and the GLOBAL life expectancy is now 72.6 years (US average at 79.1)!
Thanks to technology, deaths from natural disasters are at the lowest in recorded history (even with a larger population). The average woman is now only having 2.5 babies (1.9 in US) with a 97% survival rate through age 5 (99.4% in US) - largely due to the fact that over 80% of children are receiving basic vaccinations and have access to modern medicine.
The gender equality gap is evaporating as the average 30-year-old man has 10 years of education while women of the same age have 9 years; this has pushed global literacy rates to 86%. And the freedom to study, work, play, or practice religion is more accepting than ever before as more than 55% of people live under a democratic government.
We live in the safest, most prosperous time the world has ever seen. Period.
I don't mean to underestimate the challenges that human civilization will face nor do I mean to take-away from the terrible things still happening in the world today.
But when people work together, we create something much more intelligent than any one person alone. And today, humans are more connected and harmoniously working to better our society than ever before - I believe we have the power to continue this global trend.
My two take-aways:
1. When the media tells you that the world is dark and scary, just know that things are getting better.
2. Participate in this ever-prospering-world and grow your wealth by investing in the people that are making this all possible.