Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.


How Much Longer Are People Living Now Than When You Were Born?

People are living longer lives. This is just one encouraging fact from a new tool where you can compare all the global health changes and medical discoveries between the year you were born and 2015.  

The informative and interactive tool, called  Global Health Check, was created by Beyond Words Studio in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mosaic.

It gives a comprehensive rundown of the global health stats over the years you’ve lived, and fortunately, vitals are looking good.

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 11.56.17 AM.pngImage: Screengrab from Global Health Check

The first chart alone is enough to be inspired. Global Health Check shows statistics like the extra number of weekends gained and the skills a person could learn with the extra years humans born today have thanks to improved global health. A year’s worth of extra weekends? Sounds good to us.

Compared to 29 years ago, more children than ever are expected to live past 60, 70 and 80 years old. And while 12.7 million children died from preventable diseases who were born in 1987, today that number has been reduced to 5.9 million.

And since 1920, the world has unlocked the key to solve and prevent hosts of diseases, like polio, which is 99.9% eradicated.

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 12.15.29 PM.pngImage: Screengrab from Global Health Check

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 2.27.32 PM.pngImage: Screengrab from Global Health Check

However, some aspects of global health are changing for the worse. Heart disease is more common, and deaths as a result have increased in recent years.

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 2.pngImage: Screengrab from Global Health Check

The number of new cases of HIV, TB, and malaria are all down in the past decade, and the goal remains strong to end each by 2030.

Overall, the tool acts a fun way for people to engage and discover global health in a new interactive way. This was the goal of the project.

"We wanted to put people in the center of the metrics," Duncan Swain co-founder of Beyond Words Studio told NPR. "It's a good way to personalize the data and make it relevant to their lives."

The date is sourced from the World Health Organization, Mars One, UNICEF, and other sources. For each comparison you can click on “Sources and Notes” to see which organization is backing the data on the fun fact of your choice.

Data research on global health and investing in the tools to solve health challenges is vital. It doesn’t hurt to learn about it from an egocentric perspective if it helps spread the word, right? Check out the year you were born here.