President Donald Trump reportedly asked in a meeting last week why the United States accepts immigrants from “shithole countries,” such as Haiti and nations in Africa.
The comment drew fierce ire from politicians and advocacy groups, including the African Union, who demanded Trump retract the statement.
Shortly after Trump’s comment, Max Roser at Our World in Data compiled charts and maps that show how much progress African countries have made in health, economics, and politics over the past several decades. Take a look.
Over the last 35 years, the rate of child death in African nations has plunged, thanks largely to early health interventions.
As kids continue to live longer, their educational opportunities have grown. Many more kids in 2010 were gaining a decade or more of schooling compared to those 60 years prior.
Relatedly, more people than ever are gaining the ability to read. Compared to past generations, some countries have gone from under 10% literacy to nearly 100%.
Democratic values have taken hold in many African nations. In 1985, there were no democratic countries. Today there are 10 countries considered wholly “free,” according to Brookings.
The past 20 years have seen rates of extreme poverty fall from well above 50% in the early 1990s down to nearly 40% by 2013.
One of the greatest public-health successes has been the decline of malaria deaths. In 15 years, charitable work and preventive measures have caused deaths to decrease by nearly half.
Perhaps even more incredible has been the eradication of smallpox. The final country to see total elimination was Somalia in 1977.
Decreasing chronic hunger has been a major win as well, but it’s still a lingering challenge. Half the population in many countries experience undernourishment. Solving this problem could fix many other issues in the long term.
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