Positive Statistics To Make You Smile

All too often we (myself included) are talking about doom and gloom statistics, like how 2/3 of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency or how the VAST majority of Americans have WAY too little in retirement savings.  I thought it would be a fun exercise to dig up some positive statistics to share.  Overall worldwide wealth is much greater than at any point in human history, extreme poverty is at its lowest, and overall opportunities exist for a greater segment of the world population than in history.

1: Worldwide extreme poverty has been cut in half since 1990 and Global health has improved dramatically since 1990: This includes the fact that early childhood deaths have been cut in half since 1990.  That’s over 6 million children that don’t die every year. This is largely due to the immense work that has taken place in getting immunizations to more children throughout the world by getting the costs down substantially.  On that,  Polio is close to being the second human disease ever eliminated from the Earth and Guinea Worm disease is almost gone as well.

2: US teen pregnancies have been cut in HALF in 10 years. This one blew my mind when I read it.  I couldn’t believe it.  In 2007 15-19 year olds had a birthrate of 41 per 1,000.  In 2016 it was 20.3 per 1,000.  Younger teens did even better.  For the age group of 10 – 14 year olds the number of births was cut to 1/3 of its 2007.  In 2007 the birth rate was .6 births per 1,000, in 2010 it was .2 births per 1,000.  Becoming a teen parent is a major roadblock towards building wealth.

3: 1 in 6 American retirees is a Millionaire.  There are more millionaires today in America today than at any point in history.  A million dollars ain’t what it used to be, but still this is major progress in the transition from a working until you die / defined benefit retirement system.

4: 34% Percent of American home owners have no mortgage: This is the American dream right?  This is holding steady at 34%.  I have hope that this number will increase over time as interest rates go up and paying off mortgage debt becomes more attractive in this country.

5: U.S. Unemployment rate is at historic lows:  In April of 2018 the U.S. unemployment rate hit 3.9%.  The last time it was this low was in April of 2000 at 3.8%, previous to that it was 3.5% in December of 1969.

6: The cost of access to space is plummeting:  SpaceX just launched the block 5 version of its Falcon 9 rocket, which will take astronauts into space within a year. The block 5 is the first rocket in history to be designed for rapid reuse.  If it is truly able to be reused 10 times with no maintenance and 100 times with minor maintenance after every 10 uses, then SpaceX will be able to drive down the price of space further, potentially getting us to a $200,000 ticket for a trip to Mars in 10 years. Yes, we are the first humans in our 200,000 year history (of “modern” humans) to have a shot at actually living on another planet.

Have you come across any other uplifting / positive statistics recently?

John C. started Action Economics in 2013 as a way to gain more knowledge on personal financial planning and to share that knowledge with others. Action Economics focuses on paying off the house, reducing taxes, and building wealth. John uses the free tool Personal Capital to track his net worth and posts quarterly updates on his finances. Check out the Action Economics archives section for all past posts.

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