Human Progress: Why We Should Be Optimistic about the State of the World

December 13, 2013

Despite what seems like a never-ending assault on liberty and an ever-growing federal government, there is reason to be optimistic. Evidence from academic institutions and international organizations shows dramatic improvements in human well-being. These improvements are especially striking in the developing world.

Unfortunately, there is often a wide gap between the reality and public perception, including that of many policymakers and scholars in unrelated fields. The media emphasizes bad news and ignores many positive long-term trends.

How can we correct these misperceptions? What are the most important factors driving human progress? Marian Tupy, policy analyst and editor of the new Cato website HumanProgress.org, will provide answers, take your questions, and explain how HumanProgress.org documents the enormous growth in human well-being, especially over the last two centuries. Through the presentation of accessible empirical data and interactive graphics, the website is a resource and powerful tool for students, policymakers, scholars, and you.

This special online-only series is an opportunity to hear from Cato’s policy staff. Our thanks for your continued support of the Cato Institute. We hope you’ll join in on the discussion.

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