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The world has changed: It is time to update old knowledge

The world is not static and during the history there has been a continuous change in situations including wealth and challenges in different parts of the world. The last decades are not exceptions, something which is clearly illustrated in the rich dataset which is freely available at http://www.gapminder.org/

In gapminder, you can see how factors such as income per person, life expectancy, child mortality, educational achievements, CO2 emissions and morbidity from different diseases has changed during the last two centuries, just to mention a few of the available factors. Hans Rosling, the founder behind gapminder explains some of the data himself in the video linked here. The conclusion is stunning.

The world is substantially different from how it was only a few decades ago. Not only that. It is substantially different from how it is often presented. Presenting the world as is often done into either “developed” or “industrialised” and “undeveloped” or “developing” is not only misleading, it does not make much sense any more. The picture has changed considerably, and is now much closer to a continuous spread from high-income countries with low numbers of child mortality, low morbidity burdens and in general present social security systems, to the other end of the spectrum where low-income countries stand with high proportions of children dying in early age, high morbidity burdens and insufficient social security systems. However, most populations and countries now fall in between these two. They live in middle-income settings. See Hans Rosling debunk some of the myths about the world and explaining why we need to change our terminology and way of referring to the world in this video on TED talk. Hans Rosling has also just published a well-written comment in Swedish in one of the Swedish newspapers for those who read Swedish.

So, why not update our way of thinking of the world to understand the current world situation.

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