new insights on poverty Hans Rosling was the co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating the public by using data to dispel common myths about the so-called developing world. The organization uses data to show how actual trends in health and economics contradict the narratives that emanate from sensationalist media coverage of catastrophes, tragedies and other unfortunate events. As stated in the Gapminder Foundation’s website:
Journalists and lobbyists tell dramatic stories. That’s their job. They tell stories about extraordinary events and unusual people. The piles of dramatic stories pile up in peoples’ minds into an over-dramatic worldview and strong negative stress feelings: “The world is getting worse!”, “It’s we vs. them!”, “Other people are strange!”, “The population just keeps growing!” and “Nobody cares!”
Hans Rosling conveyed actual data-based trends in a dramatic way of his own, using effective data visualization. This section is based on two talks that exemplify this approach to education: New Insights on Poverty and The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen. Specifically, in this section, we use data to attempt to answer the following two questions:
1. Is it a fair characterization of today’s world to say it is divided into western rich nations and the developing world in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
2. Has income inequality across countries worsened during the last 40 years?
To answer these questions, we will be using the gapminder dataset provided in dslabs. This dataset was created using a number of spreadsheets available from the Gapminder Foundation. You can access the table like this:
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