By 2019 3.5 billion people, close to half of the world’s population, lived in microregions with living standards equivalent to the top 21 percent in 2000.

While it is generally known that humanity has progressed over the past two decades, our granular data reveals the true extent of that progress and where it took place. For one thing, almost half the world’s population in 2019 lived in places with living standards only attained by the top 21 percent in 2000. At the other end of the spectrum, the group of more than one billion people who lived in microregions with the lowest living standards at the beginning of the 20-year period had dwindled to a few hundred million by the end, despite increasing population. Here, we examine the trajectory of that progress across the globe.