December 14, 2010
Nelson, New Zealand
Professor Hans Rosling is a sword-swallower. Crazy, I know. But as freakish and mesmerizing as that talent may be, the data that he has been compiling about developing countries is even more mesmerizing, and I promise it will surprise even the most worldly and well traveled among us.
Rosling has an uncanny ability to take enormous heaps of data, crunch the numbers, and present them in such a fluid way that it would make the most disinterested viewer sit up and take notice, and his focus on developing countries shatters a lot of misconceptions.
In the video below, Rosling charts a moving 200-year history of the wealth and life expectancy of 200 countries. In just 4-minutes, he shows that the gap between developing countries and developed countries is actually rather small, and that places like Shanghai, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore have already caught up with the west.