Hans Rosling revolutionized my perspective of the world back in 2006, with his thoughts on world health and development.  Though he passed away last year of liver failure, his TED talks remain some of the most popular.  He remained a good friend and advisor to Bill and Melinda Gates prior to this death.

His final book, Factfulness, reminds us how little we truly know of the world and humanity’s great potential and maintains that things are really better than we believe.  It’s a debatable point, but in his field of global health few could match his scope nor the innovative methods he utilized in promoting his ideas.

Just how necessary minds like his are is apparent in the earliest portions of Factfulness, when he challenges us to take a quiz pertaining to our knowledge of the broader world and global trends.  Here is the quiz, listed without comment but powerful in the idea that we all have much more to learn of our world if we wish to hold a fuller perspective. See how you do.


1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school?

□ A: 20 percent, □ B: 40 percent, □ C: 60 percent


2. Where does the majority of the world population live?

□ A: Low-income countries, □ B: Middle-income countries,  □ C: High-income countries


3. In the last 20 years, the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has …

□ A: almost doubled, □ B: remained more or less the same, □ C: almost halved


4. What is the life expectancy of the world today?

□ A: 50 years, □ B: 60 years, □ C: 70 years


5. There are 2 billion children in the world today, aged 0 to 15 years old. How many children will there be in the year 2100, according to the United Nations?

□ A: 4 billion, □ B: 3 billion, □ C: 2 billion


6. The UN predicts that by 2100 the world population will have increased by another 4 billion people. What is the main reason?

□ A: There will be more children (age below 15), □ B: There will be more adults (age 15 to 74), □ C: There will be more very old people (age 75 and older)


7. How did the number of deaths per year from natural disasters change over the last hundred years?

□ A: More than doubled, □ B: Remained about the same, □ C: Decreased to less than half


8. How many of the world’s 1-year-old children today have been vaccinated against some disease?

□ A: 20 percent, □ B: 50 percent, □ C: 80 percent


9. Worldwide, 30-year-old men have spent 10 years in school, on average. How many years have women of the same age spent in school?

□ A: 9 years, □ B: 6 years, □ C: 3 years


10. In 1996, tigers, giant pandas, and black rhinos were all listed as endangered. How many of these three species are more critically endangered today?

□ A: Two of them, □ B: One of them, □ C: None of them


11. How many people in the world have some access to electricity?

□ A: 20 percent, □ B: 50 percent, □ C: 80 percent


12. Global climate experts believe that, over the next 100 years, the average temperature will …

□ A: get warmer, □ B: remain the same, □ C: get colder


Here are the correct answers: 1: C, 2: B, 3: C, 4: C, 5: C, 6: B, 7: C, 8: C, 9: A, 10: C, 11: C, 12: A


“Development is about transforming the lives of people, not just transforming economies” – Joseph Stiglitz