Thursday, January 06, 2011

Rosling's "200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes"

I'm fond of statistics; I'm equally fond of innovative presentation of statistics. That's why I owe LiveJournal's centralasian thanks for linking to this clip from The Joy of Stats, a recent BBC show hosted by Swedish doctor and statistician Hans Rosling. The clip's title? "200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes."

If you want to fast-forward through, the presentation proper starts at 0:31 and a compressed version starting at 3:52.

In it, Rosling shows quite graphically how the world began to shift from a demographc regime not that far removed from the high fertility/high mortality pattern experienced in the Roman Empire and in other traditional societies, Greater Europe with its industrialization proceeding while Asia and African stayed behind, with peak inequality occurring after the Second World War. It's at that point that the rest of the world began to converge with the developed world, first in health terms then in income. His suggestion that improved technology and increasing globalization will see this convergence continue--perhaps at least in demographic terms, if not economic--seems plausible on the face of it.

For more innovative statistical presentations on matters demographic, I highly recommend Rosling's Gapminder site. Go, peruse.


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