It’s easy to feel dejected while watching the news, as seemingly everything can and will go wrong. However, not all trends are for the worse. Here are five statistics about positive trends in recent years.
Fact No. 1 to brighten your day: Child obesity is declining in the U.S.
Over the last decade, the rate of obesity among 2- to 5-year-olds declined by 43%, according to a federal health study published on Feb. 26, 2014.
In 2004, 14% of children in this age category were considered obese, but in 2012, the latest numbers available, that number dropped to 8%.
While obesity didn’t decline significantly among youth or adults, this is an important positive trend, as children who are obese at the ages of 3-5 are five times as likely to obese as adults, according to the Center for Disease Control
Fact No. 2: There is less violent crime
Data from the Federal Intelligence Bureau. Chart compiled by Curiousmatic.
Despite a population increase of almost 60 million people, the amount of violent crime in America annually went down 37%, between 1992 and 2011, the latest numbers available.
Fact No. 3: The quality of the air is better
Graphic courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Positive trends extend to air quality too – at least in the US. Since 1980, despite GDP, vehicle miles traveled and energy consumption growth, emissions of the six most common pollutants determined by the EPA have gone down 63%. The pollutants are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide.
Despite this good news it’s worth remembering that in many of the world’s poorest urban areas the air quality is actually getting worse, according to 2016 reports from the World Health Organization.
4. Less traffic deaths
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Chart compiled by Curiousmatic.
Between 1980 and 2009, the number of traffic deaths in America decreased from 53,200 to 35,900, a 32% decrease. If you’re a driver, these facts should brighten your day a bit.
5. Less poverty globally
Graphic courtesy of the World Bank.
The number of people living on less than $1.25 a day decreased from half the developing world to 21% between 1981-2010, the most recent numbers available from the World Bank (the chart only shows developments from 1981-2008). During the same period, the world’s population increased by 59%.
Updated with fresh facts to help brighten your day.