Our World in Data Biweekly digest 07/15/2022


Our recent publications
We just published a new data explorer on democracy

With this explorer we seek to make it easier to access and understand data on democracy. We show and explain data from eight leading democracy datasets: their main measures, indicators of specific characteristics, and global and regional overviews.

You can read more about the approaches — and which democracy measure may be best to answer your questions — in this accompanying article.
Five key findings and a data explorer of the UN World Population Prospects 2022

How many people are there in the world? How many die each year, and how many babies are born?

These are key questions that we need to understand the world around us. The global population dataset is one of our most important at Our World in Data: it underpins nearly every topic we cover.

The UN releases an update of its World Population Prospects every two years. Its latest release was due in 2021 but was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the long-awaited dataset has now been released.

In this article, we highlight some of the key findings. We have also published a new Population and Demography Data Explorer, where you can explore this full dataset in detail, for any country in the world.
Guinea worm disease is close to being eradicated – how was this progress achieved?

Guinea worm disease is a painful and debilitating disease that was once common in Asia, the Middle East, and many countries in Africa. In 1989, over 890,000 cases were recorded worldwide.

In 2021, the number of cases worldwide had fallen to just 15. Guinea worm disease is now close to being eradicated.

Although there is no vaccine, this much progress has been possible because we know how to prevent the disease's spread: by preventing people from drinking contaminated water. The eradication program has therefore focused on water treatment and filtration, public education, and providing safe sources of drinking water.

In this article, we explain what guinea worm disease is, which countries have eliminated it, and the challenges that remain to eradicate the disease once and for all.
COVID-19 update
Confirmed COVID cases: where are they rising or falling across the world?

Daily data on confirmed COVID cases does not necessarily refer to cases that occurred on that day — but to the cases reported on that day.

Since reporting can vary significantly from day to day irrespective of actual variation in cases, it is helpful to look at changes from week to week. This provides a slightly clearer picture of where the pandemic is accelerating or slowing down.

The map here shows the percentage change in the number of confirmed cases in the last seven days relative to the number in the seven days before that.

You can see the analogous map for confirmed COVID deaths here.

→ Explore our global vaccination dataset, alongside cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and other metrics by country in our COVID Data Explorer.
Explore more of our work
The world is making progress on clean water and sanitation, but is far behind its target to ensure universal access by 2030

In 2015, all countries pledged to work towards universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and basic handwashing facilities by 2030.

In this article from July 2021, we show that we are still far from achieving universal access: 26% of people do not have access to safe drinking water; nearly half are without safe sanitation; and nearly one-third without basic soap and water.

The world is making progress but it’s far too slow. Progress will have to be more than three times faster over the coming decade if we’re to ensure everyone has access to these very basic resources by 2030.
The mission of Our World in Data is to make data and research on the world’s largest problems understandable and accessible for everyone.