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Programmes Our World in Data

Our World In Data at the Oxford Martin School

The Challenge

This project is researching how living conditions and human well-being change over time. The research is concerned with both the growth and the distribution of living standards. In order to find out how living conditions change over time, it is essential but not enough to track incomes. Freedom is central to human development and this work aims to track human well-being in all its important aspects.


Our Approach

The central research focus of the project is inclusive and sustainable growth. Work includes researching why incomes grow and which parts of the population benefit from economic growth, as well as investigating the impact of economic growth on the environment.

For this it is necessary to bring together empirical research on a wide range of aspects of global development.

This work is structured around 16 topics:

  • Population Growth & Vital Statistics
  • Health
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Resources & Energy
  • Environmental Change
  • Technology & Infrastructure
  • Growth & Distribution of Prosperity
  • Economic Development, Work & Standard of Living
  • The Public Sector & Economic System
  • Global Interconnections
  • War & Peace
  • Political Regime
  • Violence & Rights
  • Education & Knowledge
  • Media & Communication
  • Culture, Values & Society
Evidence is drawn together from a wide range of available empirical research and a central feature of OurWorldInData is that much of this knowledge is visualised in interactive graphs and maps.

Individual data entries deal with the different aspects of living standards so that the reader can understand how health, food provision, growth and distribution of incomes, violence, wars, education, environmental changes and human rights have changed over time. OurWorldInData shows progress humanity has made and also highlights the challenges that lie ahead. The articles cross-reference each other to make it possible for the reader to learn about the drivers of the observed long-run trends.

The data published on the website can be downloaded, the visualizations are made available under a permissive Creative Commons license, and all the tools to publish OurWorldInData and to create the visualizations are open source and free to use by everyone.


Ambition

The project aims to present research to the widest possible audience and for this purpose, Max Roser has established a freely available publication online. OurWorldInData.org presents long-term data on how the world is changing. The aim is to tell the history of living conditions over the last millennia, centuries and decades up to our present world.


Progress

OurWorldInData is accessed by several thousand readers per day, it is widely used in teaching, and it has been used and covered by the world’s leading media outlets (The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Financial Times, the BBC, and many non-English media).