Every day, if you turn on the news, you’ll read through dozens of headlines. Now while these headlines are important to staying informed, they can often misrepresent the larger picture in our world. Not because the things they are saying are false but because the things considered news are often intense, sudden and unexpected. Three words that often carry negative connotations. In other words, there are a lot more headlines about bridges that collapse than the thousands of bridges that don’t collapse. So, in an especially dismal political time as we face tight election between two unpopular candidates, let’s take a step back. Instead let’s take a relaxed look at some trends that are good news, without any if or buts, or getting bogged down on whether X administration or Y policy was to blame.
1. Divorce Rates Are Down
We often hear that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and while that number may have been true during the peak of divorce rates it isn’t true anymore. In fact, the divorce rate has been going down consistently since its peak in the 1970s. This has tons of good news, as not only are people engaged in healthier marriages and presumably happier but it can also help build better and stronger families.
2. High School Graduation Rates Are Up
While there are plenty of things to be disappointed or sad about in today’s education system, the high school graduation rate shouldn’t be one of them. Over the last few years the United States has been able to see a steady and impressive increase in high school graduation rates across the country. Not only does this mean less kids are out on the streets but also that we’re building a brighter, stronger and more educated future for our country.
3. Teen Pregnancy Rates Are Declining
Another common myth perpetuated across the country is that the issue of teen pregnancy is still huge in our country. However, the reality couldn’t be more stark. While the United States does have a higher teen pregnancy rate than other countries like the UK or Canada, teen pregnancy has been falling for nearly 20 years straight and is less than half of what it was in 1991. In fact, it fell 9% between 2013 and 2014 alone. Now the causes for this are numerous and debated, but all statisticians and politicians agree that unwanted pregnancies among teens are not only hard for the parents, but the babies as well so this trend is definitely one to be happy about. (The following graph shows births per 1,000 adolescent females over time).
4. Cancer Survival Rates Are Increasing
One of the most common and debilitating health issues that can plague both a person and their friends and family is that of cancer. However, due to dozens of new programs and research we are seeing a continuous rise in the cancer survival rate in both the United States and across Europe. While the push for a final cure and solution to cancer is still vitally important, until then, it’s still good to see we’re making progress.
5. Violent Crime Rates Are Actually Falling
Now despite increasingly intense headlines about crime and protests across the country, or the increasingly charged rhetoric around crime, violent crime in the United States is actually on the decline. After the crime-ridden peak time of the 1990s property crime has fallen over 40% and violent crimes have fallen over 50%. Now who can complain about lower crime rates and safer neighborhoods.