Our World In Data

Tetanus vaccination

Global deaths from tetanus have been reduced massively since 1990s

Tetanus is a bacterial disease that causes paralysis and can lead to death. Globally, it was estimated to kill more than 250,000 people each year in the early 1990s. Most of these deaths were in children. By 2019, annual deaths had fallen to less than 35,000. The rollout of the combined vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis among children has been crucial in driving this.

Global deaths from tetanus have been reduced massively since 1990s Read more

Shipping liner

Global sulfur dioxide emissions from shipping dropped sharply with the introduction of new rules in 2020

In 2020, the International Maritime Organization introduced strict limits on marine fuels: the maximum percentage of sulfur allowed in fuels fell from 3.5% to 0.5%. All ships worldwide had to comply. As a result, there was a dramatic fall in global sulfur dioxide emissions from over 10 million tonnes a year in 2019 to 3 million tonnes a year later, helping abate local air pollution and acid rain.

Global sulfur dioxide emissions from shipping dropped sharply with the introduction of new rules in 2020 Read more

Solar panels reflect sparkling light from the Sun

30% of the world’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2023 for first time ever

Global renewable electricity production is growing at an unprecedented pace, according to a new report from climate think tank Ember. For the first time ever, in 2023, renewables supplied 30% of the world’s annual electricity supply, thanks to the rapid deployment of solar and wind technology.

30% of the world’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2023 for first time ever Read more

Medellin skyline at night

Colombia’s homicide rate has more than halved since the 1990s

In the 1990s, more than 60 people per 100,000 were killed in homicides each year, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Homicide was the cause of 15% of all deaths at the time. The homicide rate has fallen significantly since then, as the chart shows. In 2021, it was around 27 homicides per 100,000 people. The country’s rate is now much closer to the regional rate of the Americas, at 15 homicides per 100,000 people.

Colombia’s homicide rate has more than halved since the 1990s Read more

Number of maternal deaths worldwide has halved in the last 35 years

The number of mothers dying as a result of pregnancy has declined precipitously in the last several decades due to reduced poverty rates, improved physical and mental health services, healthier lifestyles, increased access to contraceptives, and more. In 1985, nearly 600,000 mothers died every year worldwide. Today, it’s half that.

Number of maternal deaths worldwide has halved in the last 35 years Read more

Satellite view of hurricane

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century

According to a recent study from Our World In Data, in the early-to-mid 20th century, the average annual death toll from disasters was very high, often climbing to over a million. In recent decades, such deaths are typically fewer than 20,000 people, even as natural disasters become more frequent and more extreme.

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century Read more

Smiling baby

Global child mortality rate plummets from a historical average of 48% to 27% in 1950

As recently as two centuries ago, around 1 in 2 children died before reaching the end of puberty. Our ancestors were largely powerless against poverty, famine, and disease, and these calamities were especially devastating for children. Since then, child mortality has plummeted across the world. This dramatic decline has resulted from better nutrition, clean water, sanitation, neonatal healthcare, vaccinations, medicines, and reductions in poverty, conflicts, and famine.

Global child mortality rate plummets from a historical average of 48% to 27% in 1950 Read more