2019, in Figures, for Countries
This year has been full of records for countries, both positive and negative. It was marked by changes in international policies, trade wars between super powers, broken alliances and technology advancements bringing new and more complex problems for mankind to solve.
The World Bank centralized some of the most important figures of this year, looking at climate change, economic inequality, refugees, species threatened with extinction or the global economy. Here are some of the main records that countries established in 2019.
15 Countries Lifted 800 Million Out of Poverty
Figures from the World Bank in 2019 show that Tanzania, Tajikistan, the Republic of Congo, Chad, Kyrgyzstan, China, India, Moldova, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Namibia managed to improve their poverty levels from 2000 to 2015.
85% of the World's Poor Are in Asia and Africa
Service Sector Reaches a Record Number of Jobs
The service sector became the world's largest employer in the early 2000s and now accounts for 49% of all jobs globally, the World Bank says. The share of people employed in services represents 26% of the workforce in low-income countries and up to 75% in high-income countries.
March for Climate Change Exceeds Expectations
About half a million people marched in Madrid during the United Nations Climate Change Conference for demands related to urgent climate action. Many other protests took place around the world calling for a change in prices for energy, transport and food.
Record Number of Species are Threatened with Extinction
Figures in 2019 show that about a million plant and animal species out of an estimated 8 million face extinction, some in the coming decades. On the list: cycads, conifers, amphibians, dicots such as roses, corals, mammals, sharks & rays, crustaceans, ferns & relatives, monocots such as daffodils, reptiles, birds, dragonflies, bony fishes or gastropods such as snails.
Refugees Hit Record Levels
According to figures reported in 2019, the number of displaced people in 2018 reached 70.8 million people. About 30 million of those are refugees, 41.3 million internally displaced people, and 3.5 million asylum seekers.
Internet Is Still Rare In Many Regions
The digital revolution is slowly expanding into many areas on the globe and mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous. But while internet use is also increasing, access to fixed broadband is still scarce in sub-Saharan Africa, where only 31% of people can access it.
More People Have Electricity
Remittances a Vital Part of the Global Economy
According to the World Development Index, workers sent back three times more money to their home economies than what those nations received in official aid since the mid 1990s. In 2019, it is estimated that remittances will have reached $551 billion in low- and middle-income countries.
Record Number of Measles Cases
According to the World Health Organization, in 2019 measles tripled compared with the same period last year. As of Nov. 5, 2019, 413,308 were reported as having been suffering from measles. An additional 250,000 reported cases were reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2019 in Figures
1. 15 countries lift 800 million out of poverty.
2. 85% of the world's poor are in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
3. Service sector reaches a record number of jobs.
4. Climate change march tops expectations.
5. Record number of species are threatened with extinction.
6. Refugees hit record levels.
7. Internet remains a rare sight in many regions.
8. More people have electricity.
9. Remittances became a vital part of the global economy.
10. Number of measles cases hits record.
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The 2019 U.S. News Best Countries rankings, formed in partnership with BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, aim to gauge global perceptions of the world's largest economies.
Sintia Radu is an international affairs and global technology reporter at U.S. News & World Report. She previously reported on business and technology for the Washington Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She served as the managing editor for Esquire Romania. She graduated from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, and earned her Master of Arts in Journalism at the University of Missouri. She is a fellow of the National Press Foundation for a program on the impact of artificial intelligence. She was part of the 2016 Women in STEM cohort at Chicago's 1871 technology and entrepreneurship center, and helped design a multiple award-winning iOS/watchOS app profiled in the 2017 Associated Press report on The Future of Augmented Journalism. She is a Fulbright scholarship recipient and gave a TEDx talk on immigration and diversity. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.