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  • Visualization is right at the heart of my own work tool.

  • I teach global health.

  • And I know, having the data is not enough.

  • I have to show it in ways people both enjoy, and understand.

  • Now, I'm going to try something I've never done before:

  • animating the data in real space,

  • with a bit of technical assistance from the crew.

  • So, here we go: first an axis for health.

  • Life expectancy from 25 years to 75 years.

  • And down here, an axis for wealth:

  • Income per person: 400, 4,000, and 40,000 dollars.

  • So down here, is poor and sick,

  • and up here is rich and healthy.

  • Now I'm going to show you the world 200 years ago,

  • in 1810.

  • Here come all the countries:

  • Europe brown, Asia red, Middle East green, Africa South of the Sahara blue,

  • and the Americas yellow.

  • And the size of the country bubble shows the size of the population.

  • And in 1810, it was pretty crowded down there, wasn't it?

  • All countries were sick and poor,

  • life expectancy was below 40 in all countries

  • and only the UK and the Netherlands were slightly better off,

  • but not much.

  • And now, I start the world.

  • The industrial revolution makes countries in Europe and elsewhere move away from the rest,

  • but the colonized countries in Asia and Africa,

  • they are stuck down there.

  • And eventually, the Western countries get healthier and healthier.

  • And now, we slow down to show the impact of the First World War and the Spanish flu epidemic.

  • What a catastrophe!

  • And now I speed up through the 1920s and the 1930s.

  • And, in spite of the Great Depression, western countries forge on towards greater wealth and health.

  • Japan and some others try to follow

  • but most countries stay down here.

  • Now, after the tragedies of the Second World War,

  • we stop a bit to look at the world in 1948.

  • 1948 was a great year: the war was over,

  • Sweden topped the medal table at the Winter Olympics,

  • and I was born.

  • But the differences between the countries of the world was wider than ever.

  • The United States was in the front, Japan was catching up,

  • Brazil was way behind,

  • Iran was getting a little richer from oil but still had short lives.

  • And the Asian giants:

  • China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia,

  • they were still poor and sick down here,

  • but look what is about to happen!

  • Here we go again!

  • In my lifetime, former colonies gained independence,

  • and then finally they started to get healthier, and healthier, and healthier.

  • And in the 1970s, then countries in Asia and Latin America started to catch up with the Western countries:

  • they became the emerging economies.

  • Some in Africa follow,

  • some Africans were stuck in civil wars,

  • others hit by HIV.

  • And now we can see the world today, in the most up-to-date statistics.

  • Most people today live in the middle.

  • But there are huge differences at the same time between the better off countries and the worse off countries

  • and there are also huge inequalities within countries.

  • These bubbles show country averages,

  • but I can split them.

  • Take China, I can split it into provinces.

  • There goes Shanghai.

  • It has the same wealth and health as Italy today.

  • And there is the poor inland province Guizhou,

  • it's like Pakistan,

  • and if I split it further, the rural parts are like Ghana in Africa.

  • And yet, despite the enormous disparity today, we have seen 200 years of remarkable progress.

  • That huge historical gap between the West and the Rest is now closing.

  • We have become an entirely new converging world,

  • and I see a clear trend into the future,

  • with aid, trade, green technology, and peace.

  • It's fully possible that everyone can make it to the healthy-wealthy corner.

  • Well, what you've just seen in the last few minutes

  • is the story of 200 countries shown over 200 hundred years and beyond.

  • It involved plotting of 120,000 numbers.

  • Pretty neat, eh?

Visualization is right at the heart of my own work tool.

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B1 UK BBC healthier africa world poor asia

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/03/02
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