How not to be ignorant about the world

In this TED Talk Hans Rosling presents the results of our public surveys that shows that people don’t know key aspects of global development. And Ola Rosling shows that this has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s a problem of factual knowledge. Facts don’t come naturally. Drama and opinions do. Factual knowledge has to be learned. So Ola teachers 4 rules of thumb for not being ignorant about the world.

Reducing child mortality – a moral and environmental imperative

About this video

On September 20, 2010, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and TED co-hosted TEDxChange, an event reflecting on the progress made against the Millennium Development Goals.

On the basis of the most recent data on child mortality, Hans Rosling showed how countries like Kenya and Ghana are now reducing child mortality at an accelerating speed – “Time has come to stop talking about Sub-Saharan Africa as one place”.
He also shows the strong correlation between reducing child mortality and decreasing family size and questions why Singapore, South Korea, Chile, & Qatar are labeled “developing countries” in a recent UNICEF report.

Interactive graph: Relation between Child mortality and Family size

Population growth explained with IKEA boxes

About the video

Explaining population growth requires simplification, but not oversimplification.
In this TED video, Hans Rosling explains why ending poverty – over the coming decades – is crucial to stop population growth. Only by raising the living standards of the poorest, in an environmentally-friendly way, will population growth stop at 9 billion people in 2050.

Rosling’s World – a documentary about Hans Rosling

About the Documentary

A 55-minute documentary about Hans Rosling’s life & thoughts. Hans Rosling is a professor in international health. His presentations on global development evokes laughter, rejoice and reflections. He wants everyone to question their prejudices about the world – as he himself has needed to do. A documentary by Pär Fjällström, SVT.

(With subtitles in English)

Open Lecture with Hans Rosling (in Swedish)

Monday 23 November, Hans Rosling will give an open lecture at Uppsala University. The title of the lecture is “Civil War, Aid, Competition and Latte – a fact based view on four types of countries”.

The lecture is given in Swedish and moderated by the science journalist Jan-Olov Johansson

Date: Monday 23 November, 2009
Time: 19:00 – 20:00
Location: Lecture room X in the University building

Read the university’s add in Swedish

TED and Reddit’s 10 questions

About the Interview

In a cooperation between the internet community Reddit and TED,Reddit users got to put their questions to Hans Rosling. In this video response he answers the top 10 questions with explaining graphs.

Join the discussions at »
The original TED-blog post »

The 10 questions:

1. What is your min is the number one lesson to be learned from your way of looking at data; what ought our governments do that they are not doing.

2. If you could present your stats to a panel of any five people in the world, who would you chosse and why?

3. In my experience, people do not understand statistics and will never change their opinion based on statistics, I would like to ask if you agree.

4. What are the most startling or intriguing correlation you have encountered while playing with different values on the the x and y axis at

5. What do you think of the state of statistics education in high school and colleges?

6. Would you be willing to help the WhiteHouse present the Healthcare budget in such a way as to make it easier for the average person to understand the value of a public option or single payer plan?

7. Do you think CUDA is an important step in the path of better and richer visualizations of data?

8. What are your future plans for Gapminder?

9. What can bra done to encourage governments and international organizations to more actively and effectively collect and publish vital statistics?

10a. But how do you recommend that I or we help the “bottom billion”? I’m wondering about practical ways the “top billion” can assist the “bottom billion” with small units of organizations.

10b. What’s it like knowing so many on reedit have intense nerd crushes on you?

Let my dataset change your mindset

About this talk:
In the talk at the US State Department in the summer of 2009, Hans  Rosling showed the overall global trends in health and income over the last 200 years, the development of the HIV/AIDS-epidemic and how China is catching up on the richest countries.

It was also the 500th TED-talk of all times.

From TED:s webpage:
Talking at the US State Department this summer, Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.

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More speeches »
TED:s webpage »

TV-documentary on Hans Rosling now with subtitles

In the next 30 days you can see the Swedish TV-documentary: Rosling’s World: The best statistics you’ve ever seen, with English subtitles, on the webpage of the Swedish Television. The documentary will be aired again on Swedish Television (SVT24) on Tuesday 18 August, 20.00 in Sweden (19.00 CET) and in conjunction with that the video will be posted on SVT’s site for 30 days, this time also with English subtitles.

Continue reading “TV-documentary on Hans Rosling now with subtitles”

HIV: New facts and stunning data visuals

Update: Use the HIV presentation material in your own lecture – Download here.

In this talk at the TED conference in Feb. 2009, Hans Rosling explains the HIV epidemic.
He converts the best available data from UNAIDS and WHO into understandable Gapminder bubbles.

The two key messages are that the global HIV epidemic has reached a “steady state” with 1% of the adult world population infected and that there are huge differences in HIV occurrence between and within African countries. Many African countries have the same, relatively low, HIV levels as can be found in most of the world, whereas 50% of the world’s HIV infected persons live in a few countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (with 4% of the world population).

Hans Rosling closes his speech by summarizing probable reasons for the high HIV burden in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa and he also claims that the focus must be on preventing further HIV transmission in these highly affected populations.

Hans also did mention that male circumcision has been proven to reduce the transmission of HIV, but unfortunately this statement had to be removed due to a confusing wording (on Hans’ request).

A caveat:

It’s challenging to summarize the present understanding of the very high HIV levels in a few countries, because there is no clear-cut consensus among researchers. The final remarks (last 2 minutes of the video) will therefore be expanded in a later video lecture.

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HIV in Gapminder World

Gapminder HIV Chart 2009 (PDF)

Speeches from 2006 & 2007.

Swine flu alert! News/Death ratio: 8176

About this Video

During the last 13 days, up to May 6, WHO has confirmed that 25 countries are affected by the Swine flu and 31 persons have died from Swine flu. WHO data indicates that about 60 000 persons died from TB during the same period. By a rough comparison with the number of news reports found by Google news search, Hans Rosling calculates a News/Death ratio and issue an alert for a media hype on Swine flu and a neglect of tuberculosis.

WHO TB data available at

WHO Swine Flu data available at

Human rights & democracy statistics

About this Video

In this video, made for the Oslo freedom Forum 2009, Hans Rosling discuss the difficulty in measuring progress in Human Rights in the form of comparable numerical statistics. He also shows the surprisingly weak correlation between existing estimates for democracy and socio-economic progress.

The reason may be that democracy and human rights measurements are badly done. It may also be that democracy and human rights are dimensions of development that are in themselves difficult to assign numerical values. But it also seems as much improvement in health, economy and education can be achieved with modest degrees of human rights and democracy. Hans Roslings concluding remark is that Human rights and Democracy maybe should be mainly regarded as values in themselves rather than means to achieve something else.

Related content

Democracy and GDP per capita in Gapminder World



Breast Cancer Statistics

About this Video

Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. Unlike cervical cancer, breast cancer is more common in rich countries than in low- and middle-income countries and also tends to increase as a country gets richer.

But with higher income there are also better chances to save women who get cancer. The data from IARC, now presented in Gapminder World shows how breast cancer has increased in countries like Sweden, but also how death rates are falling. Today, most of the women who get breast cancer in Sweden will survive.

The challenge is to make sure that also low- and middle-income countries will be able to afford treatment for its women when the number of breast cancer now will increase, as they continue to develop.

Related content

See Breast Cancer graphs in Gapminder World.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Data source: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

Cervical Cancer Statistics

About this Video

Cervical cancer is common among middle-aged women.  It is caused by a sexually transmitted papillomavirus that causes a lesion in the lower part of the uterus that, in some women, can develop into cancer.

By introducing screening test, so called ”pap smear test”, many countries have managed to reduce the number of women affected by cervical cancer dramatically, and by doing so saving thousands of women every year.

Unlike some other cancers (e.g. breast cancer) cervical cancer is decreasing with higher income.

In this video Hans Rosling compare two nordic countries, Denmark and Norway that, at different times, introduced the Pap smear screening and the effect it has had on the number of women who got cancer.

Related content

See Cervical Cancer graphs in Gapminder World:
Denmark and Norway
Cervical cancer and income in the whole world.

Hans Rosling documentary on Swedish Television

“Roslings värld”, a new television documentary about Hans Rosling produced by the Swedish Television (SVT), will soon air in Sweden. In this portait by the Swedish journalist Pär Fjällström the viewers get to follow Hans Rosling during a few weeks in the end of 2008.

Continue reading “Hans Rosling documentary on Swedish Television”

Two new videos with Hans Rosling

200 years that changed the world

– 200 years of history in 4.5 minutes.

Viewer responses to the video:

“Thanks for posting another thoroughly thought provoking video.”
“This is brilliant, compelling and amazingly well visualized.”

Shanghai, New York, Mumbai

– Is Shanghai healthier than New York? And how do Washington D.C. and Mumbai rank?

Be the first to comment this video!

Shanghai, New York, Mumbai

About this Video

See the development of three centers of trade, Shanghai, New York and Mumbai.
Also, a comparison of the capitals: Beijing, Washington, D.C. and New Delhi.
And finally, a note from Professor Rosling on how one can measure the progress of President Obama’s intentions to improve the health system of the US.

Related content

Gaps within China, India, US

Hans Rosling debunks myths in new lecture-series

<br />Can the population growth be stopped? Is Brazil, Egypt and Bangladesh now improving faster than Sweden ever did? And can everyone live on the same level as the rich countries?

In a new lecture series, filmed in a studio at the Swedish Television, Hans Rosling answer yes to all questions above.

The lecture has been divided into three videos that you can find in the video-section.

Part 1 – What stops population Growth?
Part 2 – Poor beat rich in MDG race
Part 3 – Yes they can!

Debunking myths about the “third world”

About this talk

You’ve never seen data presented like this. Hans Rosling’s presentation at the TED-conference in 2006 has been seen by millions over the internet, at TED’s web-page, at Google Video or Youtube.

With the urgency of a sportscaster,  Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called “developing world” using the animation software that powers Gapminder World.

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Flash-presentation used.

The seemingly impossible is possible

About this talk

This year, 2007, Hans Rosling’s TED-speech focused on making the seemingly impossible possible.

The Trendalyzer software (recently acquired by Google) turns complex global trends into lively animations, making decades of data pop. Asian countries, as colorful bubbles, float across the grid – toward better national health and wealth.

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Go to the speach from 2006.

Human Development Trends, 2005

Alternative content

Get Adobe Flash player

About this Flash presentation

A presentation for UNDP Human Development Report 2005 in English and some other languages. Human Development Trends was produced in 2005.

Available in:

English, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.


PC version (4.5 Mb)
Mac version
(open .zip-file and run “application.swf” in your Flash Player)


The data used in the presentation above is based on estimates from the following background paper for the Human Development Report 2005:​

Dikhanov, Yuri (2005). Trends in global income distribution, 1970-2000, and scenarios for 2015. Human Development Report Office Occasional paper.

Bios and photos

Gapminder Foundation

Gapminder is an independent Swedish foundation with no political, religious or economic affiliations. Gapminder is a fact tank, not a think tank. Gapminder fights devastating misconceptions about global development. Gapminder produces free teaching resources making the world understandable based on reliable statistics. Gapminder promotes a fact-based worldview everyone can understand. Gapminder collaborates with universities, UN, public agencies and non-governmental organizations. Check

On request we can provide images, logotype etc. Kindly write to [email protected]

Hans Rosling - images

Photographer Stefan Nilsson
Download: Web versions | Print versions

Photographer Elisabeth Toll (1,2), Stefan Nilsson (4)
Download: Web versions | Print versions

Photographer Jörgen Hildebrandt
Download: Web versions | Print versions

Ola Rosling - Images


Photographer: Jann Lipka

Ola Rosling - biography

Ola Rosling is President & Co-Founder of Gapminder Foundation which he founded together with his wife and his father.

In 1999, Ola led the development of the Trendalyzer software, which was acquired by Google in 2007. At Google, Ola and his team delivered the Motion Chart as part of Google Spreadsheets. As Product Manager for Google Public Data Ola then helped democratize access to Public Statistics by developing the infrastructure needed to make official statistics part of Google Search results. Ola and Anna went back to Gapminder in 2011 to develop free teaching materials for a fact-based worldview.

In 2014 Ola coined the term Factfulness, which Gapminder promoted in order to make the education about Sustainable Development less ideological and more fact-based.

Together with Anna and Hans, Ola wrote the Factfulness book, launched in April 2018.

Twitter: olarosling

TED Talk: How not to be ignorant about the world

Download as PDF

Anna Rosling Rönnlund - images

Photographer: Jann Lipka

Photographer: Johan Bodin

Anna Rosling Rönnlund - biography

Together with Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund founded Gapminder in 2005. Gapminder’s mission statement is to fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based world view everyone can understand.

She designed the user-interface of the famous animating bubble-chart tool called Trendalyzer, used by millions of students across the world, to understand global development trends. The tool was acquired by Google, and Anna worked at Google in Mountain View, CA as a Senior Usability Designer from 2007 to 2010. At Google, Anna improved search results for public data, developed data exploration tools for Public Data and made a bubble tool gadget (Motion chart) in Google Spreadsheets. In 2010, Anna came back to Gapminder to develop new free teaching material. Anna is now Vice President and Head of Design & User Experience at Gapminder. She also sits in the Gapminder Board. Anna holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography.

Anna founded Dollar Street, the biggest systematic image bank with representative home documentations based on data. At the moment we have almost 30,000 photos and 10,000 video clips, which are free to use under Creative Common license.

Together with Ola and Hans, Anna wrote the Factfulness book, launched in April 2018.






Twitter: @AnnaGapminder

TEDx Stockholm: Using photos as data to understand how people live
TEDx Riga: Aha! Now I Get How Everybody Lives


Download as PDF – In English

Ladda ned PDF –  PaĚŠ Svenska


Chimpanzees know better?


About this Video

Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet, uses Gapminder World to shed light on perceived and real differences in the way we live around the world. He is introduced by the session moderator Chrystia Freeland, the US Managing Editor of the FT.


Gapminder was founded in Stockholm on 25 February 2005 by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Hans Rosling. In 2006, Hans gave his first TED talk, called, “The best statistics you’ve ever seen”. It became one of the most watched TED talks ever. 

Since its founding, Gapminder has developed several innovative data visualizations. The bubble chart software Trendalyzer was acquired by Google in 2007 and Gapminder’s team moved to Google’s headquarters in California. Whilst there, the team integrated Trendalyzer into Google’s infrastructure, and also improved Google’s search to show better results for global statistics from big data providers. 

In 2010, Anna and Ola returned to Gapminder to develop free teaching materials. To prioritize, they decided to test what people were wrong about. They discovered that people were wrong about almost everything they were tested on and so the Ignorance Project was born, with the mission of trying to figure out what people were wrong about and why. Materials were then developed to help people improve their knowledge to become more fact-based. 

In 2016, Gapminder launched Dollar Street, a photo project where homes from all over the world were systematically documented and ordered by income, where the poorest live to the left and the richest to the right. 

Also in 2016, Anna, Ola and Hans started writing the book Factfulness, which was published in 2018, one year after Hans passed away from pancreatic cancer. When the book was published it became an international bestseller immediately and has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and is translated into 45 languages. 

The next phase of the Gapminder journey is to scale up its Ignorance project and release an app where people can take tests and learn important global facts. Since the coronavirus became a pandemic, Gapminder has begun to spend more time trying to understand and explain the virus and our responses to it.

Gapminder’s main focus is to: 

  • Find (and fix) systematic misconceptions about global trends and proportions. 
  • Keep our tools (like the bubble chart and Dollar Street) up-to-date and freely available.
  • Explore and develop new ways of explaining important global trends and proportions to make them easier to understand. 

Gapminder does not award any grants. It is an operating foundation that provides services as defined by the board, sometimes in collaboration with universities, UN organizations, public agencies, and non-government organizations.