Visualize 200 Years of Progress by Hans Rosling

by Mark Lovett on April 5, 2011

Imagine reading the history of 200 countries, spanning the past 200 years of development, then trying to make sense of how each of those societies prospered during that time.  In this four minute film, Hans Rosling provides us with a cool visual synopsis of how health improved as income increased.

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I love this sort of visualization, as it turns raw data into digestible information that can be readily absorbed, but what I wanted to see at the conclusion of the video was a look forward over the next 200 years.  Without doubt incomes will continue to rise during that time, but what might be the effect of an increasing global population that could reach 9 to 10 billion people?  How will climate change alter past trends if shifting weather patterns result in a widespread reduction in crop yields?

The moment in the film when the world reacts to the combination of World War I and the Spanish flue epidemic of 1918 in which 50 to 100 million people died is revealing.

NASA CO2 Historical LevelsWouldn’t it be fascinating to track changes in CO2 levels vs. average temperatures, melting ice caps and acidification of our oceans?  As oil prices continue to increase over the next 200 years will we see health statistics drop as food costs go up and millions of people can no longer feed themselves properly?

What global statistics would you like to see correlated in visual format?

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