How is the world doing? Ever better!
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Bjorn Lomborg

For every month we live,
we live a week longer

In 1900 we lived to be only 32 years on average, today the global average life expectancy is 69 years and in 2050 we will live to be 76 years. For every month you live, you add one week to your life expectancy.

Be the first to see Lomborg's all-new TED talk chock-full with amazing facts on how the world is doing.

A new way to compare global problems

For centuries, optimists and pessimists have argued over the state of the world, often picking facts and stories to fit some grand narrative of decline or progress. Here is a rational way.

We measure the problem, from gender inequality to air pollution in percent of GDP. This makes all problems comparable, across time and topics. Read more in the renowned science magazine New Scientist.

A better world is here

Realists should now embrace the view that the world is doing much better. Yet, substantial challenges remain for a better 2050.

In 1900 we were essentially excluding almost half the world’s population from production. The loss was at least 17% of global GDP. 

Today, with higher female participation and lower wage differentials, the loss is 7% of GDP and by 2050 it is projected to fall to 4%.

Likewise the Second World War cost almost 40% of GDP, today military costs has fallen to about 1.7%.

Lomborg writes about the amazing findings in newspapers around the world, including The Times of IndiaSlateDie Welt (in German), El Tiempo (in Spanish) and Jyllands-Posten (in Danish). The article is available in six languages on Project Syndicate.

Fairer, healthier and safer

In British newspaper The Times Lomborg presents the trends within all the 10 researched problems:

The biggest environmental problem in the world is, perhaps surprisingly, air pollution. It has been declining for past 110 years. This is because most air pollution deaths are caused by indoor pollution from cooking and heating with dirty fuels. Over the 20th century 4 times more died from indoor than outdoor air pollution. As poverty has receded and clean fuels gotten cheaper, the risk has fallen eight-fold and will decline another 70% until 2050.

A Danish translation of the article was published in financial newspaper Børsen.

How Much have Global Problems Cost the World

- A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050

Together with 21 of the world’s top economists Lomborg compares if the world is doing better or worse and analyzes where the future needs us to focus our attention. Published by Cambridge University Press. On the bookshelves now. Order it on or

Can problems be good?

Lomborg exlains on CNBC's lead program Squawk Box Europe why global warming has mostly been a net benefit so far, rising from barely positive in 1900 to increasing welfare by about 1.5 per cent of GDP per year in 2025. After 2070, global warming will become a net cost.
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Executive Assistant to Bjorn Lomborg
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"Lomborg documents how on almost all important metrics, the human condition is improving at a dramatic rate; his thesis is backed up by oodles of other data and research."
The Daily Telegraph

"For a volume covering such a large number of grim subjects, ranging from climate change and violent conflict to loss of biodiversity and malnutrition, this is a surprisingly uplifting read. While mankind has succeeded in creating some depressingly disastrous social, natural and humanitarian disaster, we also have the power to alleviate and overcome these self-inflicted challenges. Bjørn Lomborg reminds us that for every part of mankind that can destroy, there is also a part that can create."
Professor Tilman Brück, Director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

"This 150-year view of humanity’s biggest challenges, measured in economic terms, gives unique data on the globe’s important issues to students, teachers and the general public. Ultimately, it affords everyone the opportunity to answer with facts the questions of humanity’s scorecard: are we doing better or worse? Overall, it is more good news than bad, but we could still do better."
Per Pinstrup-Andersen, former director general of IFPRI and Professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy at Cornell University.

"This book is a bracing tonic. An excellent survey for students, teachers and the general public with a wealth of thought provoking material. If you want to know how the world is doing, and get hard, comparable numbers to back it up, this is where to go."
Alix Peterson Zwane, Executive Director, Evidence Action and the Deworm the World Initiative; Former Senior Program Officer on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene team, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Bjorn Lomborg and Copenhagen Consensus 

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg researches the smartest ways to improve the environment and the world, and has repeatedly been named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 public intellectuals.

He is the author of several best-selling books, an adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School and regularly works with many of the world’s top economists, including seven Nobel Laureates. 
His think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center was ranked by the University of Pennsylvania as one of the world’s "Top 25 Environmental Think Tanks".

Lomborg is frequent commentator in print and broadcast media, for outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, CNN, FOX, and the BBC. His monthly column is published in 19 languages, in 30+ newspapers with more than 30 million readers globally.
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