Small logo Subscribe to leading news on impact investing. Learn More
The Brief Originals Dealflow Signals The Impact Alpha Impact Voices Podcasts Agents of Impact Open
What's Next Capital on the Frontier Measure Better Investing in Racial Equity Beyond Trade-offs Impact en las Americas New Revivalists
Local and Inclusive Climate Finance Catalytic Capital Frontier Finance Best Practices Geographies
Slack Agent of Impact Calls Events Contribute
The Archive ImpactSpace The Accelerator Selection Tool Network Map
About Us FAQ Calendar Pricing and Payment Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Service Agreement Contact Us
Locavesting Entrepreneurship Gender Smart Return on Inclusion Good Jobs Creative economy Opportunity Zones Investing in place Housing New Schooled Well Being People on the Move Faith and investing Inclusive Fintech
Clean Energy Farmer Finance Soil Wealth Conservation Finance Financing Fish
Innovative Finance
Personal Finance Impact Management
Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East Oceania/Australia China Canada India United Kingdom United States
Subscribe Log In

Reasons for optimism about the new year

“Most important story of 2017 is that the global poverty rate reached its lowest level ever,” tweeted economist Bill Easterly. “This will probably be the most important story of 2018 also. Happy New Year.”

One reason: China. In the past three years, the world’s most populous country has cut by half the number of people living below the poverty line (from 99 million to 43.4 million). That was one of the 99 “best stories” of 2017 rounded up by Quartz. The U.S. poverty rate, at 12.3%, is the lowest since the financial crisis.

Over the last 16 years, more than a billion people have gained access to electricity (and in 2017 the price of wind and solar power fell another 25%).

Remember Zika? It all but disappeared as a five-year international assault on tropical diseases saved millions of lives.

All that violence? Deaths from terrorism fell 22% in 2017 from a 2014 high. Rates of violent crime and property theft in the U.S. are half that of 1990; incarceration rates are falling in the majority of states.

Predicts Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times [paywall]: There will not be a war on the Korean peninsula, nor will there be one in the South China Sea or in eastern Europe…By contrast, there will be big and positive change in the Middle East. And England will win the World Cup.”

You might also like...