Why 2019 has been the best year in human history

If you're depressed by the state of the world, let me toss out an idea: In the long arc of human history, 2019 has been the best year ever.

The bad things that you fret about are true. But it's also true that since modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, 2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2020, with the headline 'Why 2019 has been the best year in human history'. Subscribe