When our understanding of the world is based solely on daily news, which is often focused on single events, we risk ignoring the long-lasting changes that impact and reshape our world. If you’re like us, you’re always looking for new ways to engage students and help them understand math’s relevancy in real-world scenarios. Our World in Data is an open access and open source site that aims to promote understanding of how and why the world is changing by “measuring what we care about” and letting “facts and research inform our worldview.”

On the Our World in Data site, you can browse data visualizations and research by a variety of topics, including Population, Health, Education, Media, and Culture. In an article titled Trust, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser present data on worldwide varying attitudes toward trust. The visualization shows the percentage of people, by country, who agree with the statement “most people can be trusted” and how this percentage has changed over time. Students will notice that though countries vary widely in their level of trust, these percentages are relatively stable. Only a few countries show significant growth or decline over time.

In an article titled Internet, Julia Murphy and Roser describe the growth of the internet accompanied by a world map that depicts the share of the population using the internet over time. Drag the bar on the bottom left to view a specific year. Students can investigate which areas of the world are experiencing recent growth in internet access, and when certain areas reached a plateau.

Consider using this great resource in your plans for group or application projects, or simply to encourage students to investigate and think critically about changes going on in the world. With 16 topics and even more sub-topics to choose from, there’s sure to be something to interest everyone.

Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser (2019) – “Trust”. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: ‘https://ourworldindata.org/trust‘ [Online Resource]

Julia Murphy and Max Roser (2019) – “Internet”. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: ‘https://ourworldindata.org/internet‘ [Online Resource]