I’ve been thinking about quality of life changes recently; the past year has not exactly been a high point for humanity, but it is helpful to remember that life today is better than at any time in history.

If you follow the news, it can be easy to conclude that everything is going wrong. But it’s important to remember that newsworthy events occur when something goes wrong, not when something continues working like usual. The news will talk about a broken sewage system affecting drinking water, but not about a system functioning normally. It’s a survivor bias of sorts. Not to mention a disaster sends people to the news, which is good for business.

I decided to look up some specific examples of this to see precisely how far we have come as a species. So here are just a few of many good reasons why the average person is better off living today than at any other time1.

The global food supply has been growing consistently over the past few decades and is now enough for everyone to have over 2500 calories per day wherever they are2. Access to clean water is rising steadily every year3. Worldwide access to electricity has increased from 71% in 1990 to 87% in 20164. Global life expectancy has been improving consistently for the past century5. Poverty has been falling, with the number of people living in extreme poverty falling drastically from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 650 million in 20186.

Any one of these is good news, but together they paint a strong picture of things getting better across the board for humanity. But wait, there’s more.

We’re working less than we used to7; worldwide primary school attendance is rising8, and global literacy rates continue to improve9. Lastly, the number of deaths due to war is rapidly declining10.

It’s nice to reflect on the progress that we’ve made as a species from time to time.