Statistics

The world’s population is changing in ways that could barely be imagined a generation ago, and at a pace that is faster than any in recorded history. Not only are we all living longer, but in the richest countries – and in many newly middle class nations – people are having too few babies to keep population stable. By 2050, according to UN projections, those aged over 65 will outnumber children aged 5 and under, for the first time in human history. Read more

More than half of children born in Britain in 2013 had a mother above the age of 30. For the first time since the government began keeping track. The mean age has been rising since a record low in the mid-1970s, after it fell from 29 just before the second world war. The average used by the Office for National Statistics is standardised to take account of the changes in the age distribution of the whole and allows the trends over time to be understood.

A hundred years ago just four countries allowed women to vote: New Zealand, Australia, Finland and Norway. Two world wars accelerated the process, leading to big jumps in the number of countries that granted women the right to vote. Although the breakup of empires following world war one and two also led to big increases in the number of countries. By the year 2000, 147 countries allowed women to vote alongside men.

 

More migrants die crossing the Mediterranean than any other border in the world. In total the Mediterranean accounts for 75 per cent of the world’s migrant deaths. So far this year the Italian navy’s Mare Nostrum rescue operation has saved 100,000 migrant who tried to make the crossing but it is set to be replaced by a smaller and EU-managed force known as Triton.

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The current Ebola virus outbreak has claimed more than 4,000 lives in West Africa, as well as one in the US where the victim had been visiting Liberia, the country with the highest death toll so far.

Our interactive graphic tracks the outbreak’s spread since the World Health Organisation first issued a global alert in March 2014

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By John Burn-Murdoch and Gavin Jackson

In the latest instalment of The Baseline, our weekly feature on sports statistics, we looked at Serena Williams’ dominance of women’s tennis over the last decade.

Williams has won 17 of the 43 grand slam tournaments she has entered since the 2002 French Open, and the reasons for her success can be explained with a look at performance data for the top players of the modern era Read more