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World Statistics - Up or Down?

Try to guess whether each of these objective statistical measures has increased or decreased since the year 2000.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: January 12, 2024
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First submittedJanuary 12, 2024
Times taken24,623
Average score66.7%
Rating4.45
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1. Life expectancy in Africa
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Down
Between 2000–2021, African life expectancy increased from 53.3 to 61.7. Source.
2. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
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Down
From 2000–2023, CO2 in the atmosphere increased by about 14%. Source.
3. U.S. government debt as a percent of GDP
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Down
Debt increased from 57% to 121% of GDP between 2000–2023. Source.
4. Teenage birth rate in the U.S.
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Down
The teen birth rate declined by 65% between 2000–2019. Source.
5. Annual worldwide deaths due to AIDS
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Down
Deaths declined by 42% between 2000–2019. Source
6. Per-capita European Union CO2 emissions
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Down
Per capita CO2 emissions declined by 22% between 2000–2019. Source.
7. Global obesity rate
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Down
Obesity increased from 8.3% to 13.2% between 2000–2016. Source.
8. Los Angeles air pollution
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Down
Between 2000–2022, the number of "unhealthy" days declined from 175 to 94. Source
9. Percentage of people living in Germany who were born in a different country
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Down
Increased from 11% to 14.9% between 2000–2015. Source.
10. Number of nuclear weapons in the world
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Down
Declined by 63% between 2000–2023. Source.
11. Global coal production
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Down
Up 81% between 2000–2023. Source
12. Number of bald eagles in the United States
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Down
No exact source but the increase has been large
13. Population of Japan
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Down
A small decline of 3% between 2000–2024, but the decline is accelerating. Source.
14. Adult smoking rate in the U.S.
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Down
Declined from 23% to 14% between 2000–2019. Source.
15. Drug overdose death rate in the U.S.
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Down
Increased by over 350% between 2000–2020. Source.
39 Comments
+24
Level ∞
Jan 20, 2024
Why so many U.S. stats? There's a simple reason: data availability.
+11
Level 68
Jan 20, 2024
Cool quiz. The rise in coal production, especially by that much, is crazy. I only missed that and the Los Angeles question.
+21
Level ∞
Jan 20, 2024
2023 was the largest year for coal production in history.

This is entirely due to China, India, and a handful of other countries. Coal production in the developed world has fallen by huge amounts.

+6
Level 85
Jan 21, 2024
I hesitated at coal but then thought of China.
+1
Level 85
Jan 20, 2024
Everything's coming up roses!
+8
Level 75
Jan 20, 2024
Well, a mixed bag of stats there.
+8
Level 65
Feb 26, 2024
I would say the vast majority of the stats in this quiz are positive. If you're just purely optimistic, you would score 12 or 13 I think.
+8
Level 83
Jan 21, 2024
Well, there's easy data availability for many other countries, but I guess they're considered more obscure
+3
Level 85
Jan 21, 2024
Due to its birth rate, I knew Japan's population would eventually start declining but had to guess if the decline had started.
+11
Level 68
Jan 28, 2024
+350% drug overdoses in the USA 💀💀
+2
Level 53
Feb 26, 2024
Why is this?
+7
Level 71
Feb 26, 2024
Mainly due to an increase in prescription of opiod pills especially OxyContin.
+8
Level 90
Feb 26, 2024
Additionally the influx of synthetic drugs that are tens to a hundreds fold more potent than their natural equivalent. Things that a lot of people would have slept off are now not waking up from. "Clean" drugs are nearly impossible to find. Most are cut with cheap synthetic or livestock purposed drugs.
+3
Level 65
Feb 26, 2024
While not a popular topic, the increase in illegal border crossings on the US-Mexico border is partly to blame, causing an increase in availability of narcotics on the street.
+6
Level ∞
Feb 26, 2024
The proximal cause is fentanyl which is much more lethal than other opioids.

The root cause is more speculative.

+1
Level 28
Mar 19, 2024
the constitution uses the term "illegal alien" to describe the primary importers of fentanyl into america
+10
Level 81
Feb 9, 2024
Can I request a minor wording tweak?

By "Worldwide deaths due to AIDS," I have to assume the intended stat is the annual number of deaths due to AIDS (or something like that).

Because the way it's phrased, it could be interpreted as asking for the total number of deaths, which very clearly can only have gone up.

In a sense, yes, I'm being pedantic, and you could make the argument that "well, it's clear from context what is meant" but on the other hand: it is a trivia website. "Pedantry? Well gawrsh, Mickey!" Also: it feels like a tiny tweak that's easy to do and won't reset the stats or anything, so why not?

+5
Level ∞
Feb 26, 2024
Yes, you are being extremely pedantic but I made the requested change because there is no harm.
+3
Level 59
Feb 26, 2024
Bro was expecting them to come back alive and reduce the total?
+3
Level 68
Feb 26, 2024
GREAT quiz, and I also love the individual source links, good job.
+2
Level 70
Feb 26, 2024
It's very interesting to me that the majority of quiz takers (first time at least) thought that the bald eagle population was declining in the US, which says quite a bit about our environmental perception... (not that it's unfounded, though)
+3
Level 64
Feb 26, 2024
I live in a location where for the first 50 years of my life, I never saw a bald eagle. Now I have not only seen them, there is a nesting pair in my small and very overpopulated county.
+1
Level 65
Feb 26, 2024
I too see them with increasing frequency. When I was kid, I never saw one outside of a zoo setting.
+3
Level ∞
Feb 26, 2024
The news media wants you to think everything is getting worse. If it bleeds, it leads.
+1
Level 38
Feb 26, 2024
12/15!!
+1
Level 78
Feb 26, 2024
I only got the Japan one wrong (I thought it was a slight increase..)
+2
Level 65
Feb 26, 2024
The Japanese culture, especially corporate culture, prioritizes career over family. The corporate environment there is not as accommodating for families as it is in the US, especially for women. The shrinking population due to low birth rate is a crisis that Japan needs to figure out soon.
+3
Level ∞
Feb 26, 2024
I agree with @unimportant. Nearly every country has a declining birth rate. The U.S. birth rate is on a similar trajectory to Japan's – just a couple decades behind. Many countries have tried interventions to increase the birth rate. None have truly succeeded. Sweden and Denmark are NOT success stories. They both have sub-replacement fertility rates that are declining quickly.

Personally, I think (in the U.S.) we need to rise the child tax deduction to at least $50,000/year per child. That's not a typo. Maybe $100,000/year. We need to encourage our most productive citizens to have WAY more children and small measures aren't going to cut it.

Hungary is trying something similar. It will be interesting to see how it works. In my opinion, the fertility crisis is the #1 or #2 largest issue facing humanity right now (the other being AI).

+2
Level 59
Feb 26, 2024
fertility crisis ain't a crisis for anywhere outside the lowest birthrate areas, world population will keep increasing for some time

And for any one taking this opportunity to say OvErPoPulAtIoN no, thats not it, Malthus. World population will decline and the green revolution has kinda been workin so far. Learn DTM. Biggest threat is ai

+1
Level 73
Mar 23, 2024
Sorry, what is DTM? Search engine's giving me answers that don't make sense in this context.
+1
Level 73
Mar 23, 2024
I was going to make some assumptions based on my own life experience, but then I thought there might be actual data to look at, and there is, so:

https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2021/11/19/growing-share-of-childless-adults-in-u-s-dont-expect-to-ever-have-children/

While I don't know much about how this stuff work, I'm not sure how effective a tax deduction (even a huge one) would be for the many adults who do not want kids outright. Notably only 17% of the adults who didn't see themselves ever have kids cited financial reasons.

Maybe you wouldn't need to incentivize these people though; maybe such a huge tax deduction would be enough to incentivize those who do have kids to have more, to the extent that the crisis is resolved.

+4
Level 66
Feb 26, 2024
Does the US have an accommodating workplace culture for families? Here, it's known for not having a guaranteed paid maternity leave period, not having guaranteed time off, and having poor job security because of 'fire at will' policies. Japan has a poor reputation for overwork and being bad for female employment.
+2
Level 85
Feb 27, 2024
Most employers have paid maternity leave, and several individual states have mandated it. Most jobs also have guaranteed time off.

The "fire at will" thing is overstated. Sure, it exists in theory for most non-government jobs. However, in practice, the hassle and expense of litigation means that most professional employers are reluctant to terminate unless it can be done in a litigation-free way like layoffs.

However, if you're working a hospitality or retail job you're pretty screwed.

+1
Level ∞
Mar 23, 2024
More benefits won't fix the problem otherwise Europe would be in good shape.

But European fertility is even worse than the U.S.

+1
Level 43
Feb 26, 2024
How does the nuke amount go down?
+3
Level ∞
Feb 26, 2024
The U.S. and the Soviet Union signed a series of treaties to reduce the number of nukes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Arms_Limitation_Talks

It has been incredibly successful.

Thousands of nukes were dismantled. In fact, since the 1980s, decommissioned nuclear weapons have been a major source of uranium used in nuclear power plants.

+1
Level 23
Feb 26, 2024
Wow, this was a really tough one for me! 7/15 translates into an epic fail!
+1
Level 59
Feb 26, 2024
93%
+1
Level 20
Feb 27, 2024
Scoring

You scored 10/15 = 67%

This beats or equals 47.1% of test takers

The average score is 11

Your high score is 10

Just behind the average