Big data, data analytics, and statistical analysis are a few of the biggest growth industries in the last 5-10 years. Whether it’s market information, macroeconomic trends, sports statistics like the Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating, or tracking blog hits, data analytics is everywhere around us now.
In this 2008 TED talk Hans Rosling uses data analytics to assess some of the most important metrics for societies around the world.
My highlights from this video:
- Family size vs. life expectancy: during minutes 4-5 of the video Hans generates a graph that shows the relationship between life expectancy and family size for different countries from the 1960s till mid 2000s. I thought it was so compelling how essentially all countries drifted towards the small cluster at small family size and high life expectancy by the 2000s outside of Africa which still exists in the large family low life expectancy quadrant.
- Daily income trending up: with all the news talk about the income divide between the rich and the poor it is nice to see a visual that shows that average daily income for people of the world is trending towards a more bell shaped curve. While this is 2008 information and Rosling does not explicitly site the USA, it’s great to see that the world as a whole is trending this way.
Is a higher standard of life sustainable for the world’s resources?
A few weeks ago I finished a book called Collapse by Jared Diamond. It is a fascinating book about the collapse of civilizations with respect to climate change, population explosion, resource management, and political discord. While a higher standard of living is positive, the resources exhausted to maintain this higher standard of living causes great stress on our planet. Will we be able to sustain this growth that Hans has illustrated without destroying our planet? I will write on this topic more in upcoming blog posts.