See how the rest of the world lives, organized by income | Anna Rosling Rönnlund

See how the rest of the world lives, organized by income | Anna Rosling Rönnlund


What images do we see
from the rest of the world? We see natural disasters, war, terror. We see refugees, and we see horrible diseases. Right? We see beautiful beaches, cute animals, beautiful nature, cultural rites and stuff. And then we’re supposed to make
the connection in our head and create a worldview out of this. And how is that possible? I mean, the world seems so strange. And I don’t think it is. I don’t think the world
is that strange, actually. I’ve got an idea. So, imagine the world as a street, where the poorest live on one end
and the richest on the other, and everyone in the world
lives on this street. You live there, I live there, and the neighbors we have
are the ones with the same income. People that live in the same block as me, they are from other countries,
other cultures, other religions. The street might look something like this. And I was curious. In Sweden where I live, I’ve been meeting quite a lot of students. And I wanted to know, where would they think
they belong on a street like this? So we changed these houses into people. This is the seven billion people
that live in the world. And just by living in Sweden,
most likely you belong there, which is the richest group. But the students, when you ask them, they think they are in the middle. And how can you understand the world when you see all these scary
images from the world, and you think you live in the middle,
while you’re actually atop? Not very easy. So I sent out photographers to 264 homes in 50 countries —
so far, still counting — and in each home, the photographers
take the same set of photos. They take the bed, the stove, the toys and about 135 other things. So we have 40,000 images
or something at the moment, and it looks something like this. Here we see, it says on the top, “Families in the world by income,” and we have the street represented
just beneath it, you can see. And then we see some
of the families we have visited. We have the poorer to the left,
the richer to the right, and everybody else in between,
as the concept says. We can go down and see the different
families we have been to so far. Here, for instance, we have
a family in Zimbabwe, one in India, one in Russia,
and one in Mexico, for instance. So we can go around and look
at the families this way. But of course, we can choose
if we want to see some certain countries and compare them, or regions, or if we want,
to see other things. So let’s go to the front doors and see what they look like. Go here, and this is the world
by front doors, ordered by income. And we can see the big difference from India, Philippines, China,
Ukraine, in these examples, for instance. What if we go into the home? We can look at beds. This is what beds can look like. Doesn’t look like the glossy magazines. Doesn’t look like
the scary images in the media. So remember that the students in Sweden, they thought they were in the middle
of the world income. So let’s go there. We zoom in here by filtering
the street to the middle, like this, and then I ask the students: Is this what your bedroom looks like? And they would actually
not feel very at home. So we go down and see,
do they feel more at home here? And they would say, no, this is not what a Swedish
typical bedroom looks like. We go up here, and suddenly, they feel sort of at home. And we can see here in this image, we see bedrooms in China, Netherlands, South Korea, France
and the United States, for instance. So we can click here. If we want to know more about the family,
the home in which this bed stands, we can just click it and go to the family, and we can see all the images
from that family. We can go this way, too. And of course, this is free
for anyone to use. So just go here, and please
add more images, of course. My personal favorite that everyone
always tries to make me not show, I’m going to show you now,
and that’s toilets, because you’re not really allowed
to look at people’s toilets, but now we can just do it, right? So here (Laughter)
we have a lot of toilets. They look pretty much
as we’re used to, right? And they are in China, Netherlands,
United States, Nepal and so forth, Ukraine, France. And they look pretty similar, right? But remember, we are in the top. So what about checking all the toilets? Now it looks a bit different, doesn’t it? So this way we can visually browse
through categories of imagery, using photos as data. But not everything works as a photo. Sometimes it’s easier
to understand what people do, so we also do video snippets
of everyday activities, such as washing hands, doing laundry, brushing teeth, and so on. And I’m going to show you
a short snippet of tooth-brushing, and we’re going to start at the top. So we see people brushing their teeth. Pretty interesting to see the same type of plastic toothbrush
is being used in all these places in the same way, right? Some are more serious than others — (Laughter) but still, the toothbrush is there. And then, coming down to this poorer end, then we will see people
start using sticks, and they will sometimes use their finger
to brush their teeth. So this particular woman in Malawi, when she brushes her teeth, she scrapes some mud off from her wall and she mixes it with water,
and then she’s brushing. Therefore, in the Dollar Street material, we have tagged this image not only as her wall, which it is, but also as her toothpaste, because that is also what she uses it for. So we can say, in the poorer
end of the street, you will use a stick or your finger, you come to the middle,
you will start using a toothbrush, and then you come up to the top, and you will start using one each. Pretty nice, not sharing
a toothbrush with your grandma. And you can also look at some countries. Here, we have the income
distribution within the US, most people in the middle. We have a family we visited
in the richer end, the Howards. We can see their home here. And we also visited a family
in the poorer end, down here. And then what we can do now
is we can do instant comparisons of things in their homes. Let’s look in their cutlery drawer. So, observe the Hadleys: they have all their cutlery
in a green plastic box. and they have a few different types
and some of them are plastic, while the Howards,
they have this wooden drawer with small wooden compartments in it and a section for each type of cutlery. We can add more families, and we can see kitchen sinks, or maybe living rooms. Of course, we can do
the same in other countries. So we go to China, we pick three families. we look at their houses, we can look at their sofas, we can look at their stoves. And when you see these stoves, I think it’s obvious
that it’s a stupid thing that usually, when we think
about other countries, we think they have
a certain way of doing things. But look at these stoves. Very different, right, because it depends
on what income level you have, how you’re going to cook your food. But the cool thing is when we start
comparing across countries. So here we have China and the US. See the big overlap between these two. So we picked the two homes
we have already seen in these countries, the Wus and the Howards. Standing in their bedroom, pretty hard to tell which one is China
and which one is the US, right? Both have brown leather sofas, and they have similar play structures. Most likely both are made in China, so, I mean, that’s not very strange — (Laughter) but that is similar. We can of course go down
to the other end of the street, adding Nigeria. So let’s compare two homes
in China and Nigeria. Looking at the family photos, they do not look like they have
a lot in common, do they? But start seeing their ceiling. They have a plastic shield and grass. They have the same kind of sofa, they store their grain in similar ways, they’re going to have fish for dinner, and they’re boiling their water
in identical ways. So if we would visit any of these homes, there’s a huge risk
that we would say we know anything about the specific way you do things
in China or Nigeria, while, looking at this,
it’s quite obvious — this is how you do things
on this income level. That is what you can see when you go
through the imagery in Dollar Street. So going back to the figures, the seven billion people of the world, now we’re going to do a quick recap. We’re going to look at comparisons
of things in the poorest group: beds, roofs, cooking. And observe, in all these comparisons, their homes are chosen so they are in completely
different places of the world. But what we see is pretty identical. So the poorest billion cooking would look somewhat
the same in these two places; you might not have shoes; eating, if you don’t have a spoon; storing salt would be similar
whether you’re in Asia or in Africa; and going to the toilet would be
pretty much the same experience whether you’re in Nigeria or Nepal. In the middle, we have
a huge group of five billion, but here we can see you will have
electric light, most likely; you will no longer sleep on the floor; you will store your salt in a container; you will have more than one spoon; you will have more than one pen; the ceiling is no longer
leaking that much; you will have shoes; you might have a phone, toys, and produce waste. Coming to our group up here, similar shoes, Jordan, US. We have sofas, fruits, hairbrushes, bookshelves, toilet paper in Tanzania, Palestine, hard to distinguish if we would sit in US, Palestine
or Tanzania from this one. Vietnam, Kenya: wardrobes, lamps,
black dogs, floors, soap, laundry, clocks, computers, phones, and so on, right? So we have a lot of similarities
all over the world, and the images we see in the media, they show us the world
is a very, very strange place. But when we look
at the Dollar Street images, they do not look like that. So using Dollar Street, we can use photos as data, and country stereotypes — they simply fall apart. So the person staring back at us
from the other side of the world actually looks quite a lot like you. And that implies both a call to action and a reason for hope. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “See how the rest of the world lives, organized by income | Anna Rosling Rönnlund

  1. Awesome video, but just so you know… even middle class (or rich but I wouldn't know I'm not) families don't use much cutlery in India. Even in weddings or big events they eat with their hands. It's just the custom or culture there.

  2. This is skewed though, because this is the most materialistic world view you could possibly have. You are looking at this through eyes that are accustomed to your environment. To the poor, our wealth could very well mean nothing. This is a terribly capitalistic and wasteful point of view. The same point of view which is killing this world like a cancer with poisons and smog, depleted ozone layers and mass extinction. All due to the manufacturing industry which fuels these "nice places to live".

  3. So yes, at the expense of future generations to come, we do have life nicer. But this is a short sided, ignorant, self-centered point of view. We use all of these trinkets to try and convince ourselves that we are somehow different, better than the animals we try so hard to keep out.

  4. 260 homes from every country with population ranging from 99 lakhs (Sweden) to 1.37 billion (China)?! What kind of bullshit sampling is this? Anybody with the slightest idea about research would know that this study is absolutely WRONG; there is just no other way to put it. Only on a public platform where people don't know about proper research can people get away with bullshit like this. If she goes to any academic conferences with this, she'll be ripped apart. Your study is shattering stereotypes? Stereotyping is exactly what you do, when you go on public platforms with unfinished data collection and do not show any delicacy while "accidentally" excluding certain countries from an entire financial section.
    And did you even consider stuff like how much these 'things' or 'food' cost in different countries? How about expenditure for education? How about taxation? How about cost for pure water? Transportation facilities? Fuel price? What a bullshit study to oversimplify matters, just to make people with goodies feel more comfortable. A wonderful way to boost people's morale to buy more stuff.

  5. As an anthropology major, all I can say is wow, I’m very impressed! This is my new favourite Ted Talk 🙂

  6. Showed this to a friend he said “doesn’t seem like this is ground breaking she isn’t telling us anything we didn’t know, if you’re rich you’re rich if you’re poor you’re poor”

  7. Impressed with this, though I believe there is a major flaw.
    It seemed to show the United States as being only on the right of the spectrum.
    I know for a fact we have a population living all the way to the left: sleeping without shelter, using the bathroom in the woods as the poorest of nations shown etc.

  8. This made me cry, we are so blessed yet we do not appreciate what we have. I very much appreciated this content, I hope to hear more from Rönnlund!

  9. Why such a long story, we are all people and do the same thing to live. Are people so ignoring, that you have to make this, is sad that most people don't have common sence.

  10. Hi! Please, does someone know the website address that she is showing in her presentation? Thank you.

  11. It's an amazing data set that shows us people in the world are most divided by income than by culture or race. It also helps people to understand their own social and economic position in the world! Incredible!

  12. I saw the app, and is incomplete.
    Per country we can't find all the levels of income that you can really find in that country. I think is a good effort to show the reality but is not enough.

  13. That is an extraordinary way to organize data, and process it in the best interactive way. A round of applause for this woman and her team

  14. This is one of the most illuminating TED talks I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to share it with my family. Thank you for all the work you’ve done on this project!

  15. This is what fascinates me. We are all unique yet so many similarities. What the world needs now is Love sweet Love.

  16. Interesting.. it's 2018 and western world still showing India a poorest country even if india has the rate of GDP as one of the highest and is home to pretty amazing! technology.

  17. This is amazing. It's very interesting to see all the similarities we have as people all across the world.

  18. I live in the U.S. and I'm a DACA recipient. My question would be why I chose the middle as well. Now seeing those pictures I can see I'm not on the middle, but now I see that I have been comparing my life style with just the people from the U.S. and that is why I chose the middle.

  19. What is the purpose of photo/video comparison? I like to see slum and impoverished comparison of different countries.

  20. Well, however, the mainstream media stereotypes are mostly based upon the maximum number of people in a country.
    It is quite clear that the middle class of each country is very different. That is where the stereotypes emerge.
    The richest Nigerians can only compare to, let's say, middle class Americans.
    And, the Chinese middle class defines the global middle class.

  21. Wow. I´m rarely impressed by videos like this, but this one got me! Congratulations and greetings from the Dominican Republic!

  22. I live in the US, and even though I'm 40% below the US poverty line… my pictures would look like they belong in the rich category (other than having almost no space in this tiny studio apartment). Pretty mind-blowing.

  23. Yeah but you don't need to be shown people who are millionaires and billionaire's to understand where they would fall. They would be placed in the king category and aside from that, those people won't let a person in their mansion randomly. They are greedy and rude.

  24. Useless study which has no real value for anyone. Waste of money from sponsors, as well. In your research lacks the upper middle class and the rich class.
    Why India is portrayed as such a poor country since you only took pictures from the rural areas-villages?

  25. I wish to see more valuable speakers at TED, not people who can't pronounce the "s" at all and other speaking difficulties which CAN and SHOULD be corrected if you want to talk in front of such a huge crowd. Not to say the speaker is looking as she ate all the India in a hurry as she is heavy breathing so intensely.

  26. Good project. I also found it interesting that the richest in some coutries were only slightly richer than the poorest in the USA. Yet so many people there consider themselves truly poor (as seems to be the case in Sweden too).

  27. It would have been nice if she mentioned that the concept from where she began her research is based on the so-called “Pen’s parade”, from the name of the economist Jan Pen which elaborated this theory on his book ‘Economic Distribution’ in 1971.

  28. I wouldn’t consider myself in the richest section but I do own things in there because my parent out priorities on certain things.

  29. Amazing Study, Thank you so much for you contribution to life, Peace Belus Traveller

  30. Very MISLEADING project. The whole street is actually from poorest to the lower middle.There are no richest,not even rich. I know it cause I am personally far away to the right from you right end and I can't imagine letting photografer into my family and declaring my total income. You really should move your scale to the left.If you want rich people to be on that scale,let them stay anonimous,not show the faces and declare not exact income,but borders,like "more than 10k/month"

  31. I really don't like this type of thing when "wealthy" European people try to show off their wealth to the world. That's so shallow. It is funny that this is a very political project too. I am from Russia, but currently live in the US. And I know how these countries really are. America has the most homeless in the world. People, whose home is literally the streets live here. Yet, Americans are shown rich on the site. Then, I looked up Russia. We do not have homeless issue there. Moreover, most of the people, who live in the cities, live in nice apartments or houses. Even though a family's monthly income can be around 1000-2000$ on average, the conditions are that of an American family with 10000$ monthly income. But here, they chose a family from a village deep in Siberia as a showcase for their site. What a heck? Isn't it biased?

  32. Wow, this video is incredible! It makes me think deeply about my life level every time I see. Thanks a lot to creaters of this video 💛

  33. Typical racist garbage. Yeah…specifically choosing the poorest africans to give a negative image of us….shetani wewe

  34. For those who didn't get the point of this website and the lecture: A person's income and wealth is a more significant influence on how they live than their race, religion or geographic location.

  35. The people complaining that some nations aren't portrayed accurately are completely missing the point. The presentation was too short to show and compare every nation at every income/wealth level. The point is that one's income/wealth is the most significant factor in how they live. The extremely poor in the USA live like the extremely poor people of other nations. The same is true of other nations and income levels. That is the point.

  36. Lol and in the childhood or still i am struggling with those bad situation.. but it's ok…we will rich after 10 years later..but developed country ppl lol they live in so rich but they thought ..they are poor..it's make me like i am nothing

  37. Зашел на этот ёбанный ресурс, так бля 2е из 4х семей из украины зарабатывают больше 3000 $? Это шутка? То есть половина семей живут как Штатах? Показали-бы обычных людей, а не одного госслужащего уёбка и бизнесмена. В Украине живут за чертой бедности порядка 70-80% населения, у которых семейный бюджет до 500€…

  38. What a whole bunch of bullshit. Westerners can never understand how screwed up their mind is… there is an inherent reference to themselves as a standard and judging based on that.
    The world is screwed by the Western Colonization….and now, they want to feel better than the rest by showing how terrible the rest of the world is.

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