Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Hans Rosling

Swedish Medical Doctor, Academic, Statistician and Public Speaker, Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and Co-founder and Chairman of the Gapminder Foundation

"The number of children is not growing any longer in the world. We are still debating peak oil, but we have definitely reached peak child. "

"Avoid war, because that always pushes human beings backward."

"Half of the energy is used by one seventh of the world’s population. "

"Beyond 2050 the world population may start to decrease if women across the world will have, on average, less than 2 children. But that decrease will be slow."

"Data allow your political judgments to be based on fact, to the extent that numbers describe realities."

"Cancer is awful. It took 10 years until I didn't think about it every day. Nobody should go through this. Nobody."

"Good analysis is very useful when you want to convert a political decision into an investment. It can also go the other way and drive policy."

"Eighteen fifty-eight was a year of great technological advancement in the West. That was the year when Queen Victoria was able, for the first time, to communicate with President Buchanan, through the Transatlantic Telegraphic Cable. And they were the first to ?Twitter? transatlantically."

"I have a neighbor who knows 200 types of wine. ? I only know two types of wine ? red and white. But my neighbor only knows two types of countries ? industrialized and developing. And I know 200."

"I am not an optimist. I'm a very serious possibilist. It's a new category where we take emotion apart and we just work analytically with the world."

"I have shown that Swedish top students know statistically significantly less about the world than the chimpanzees."

"Health cannot be bought at the supermarket. You have to invest in health. You have to get kids into schooling. You have to train health staff. You have to educate the population."

"My experience from 20 years of Africa is that the seemingly impossible is possible."

"Religion has very little to do with the number of babies per woman. All the religions in the world are fully [able] to maintain their values and adapt to this new world."

"There are two billion fellow human beings who live on less than $2 a day."

"To get away from poverty, you need several things at the same time: school, health, and infrastructure - those are the public investments. And on the other side, you need market opportunities, information, employment, and human rights."

"I loved statistics from a young age. And I studied very much in Sweden. I used to be in the upper quarter of all courses I attended. But in St. John's, I was in the lower quarter. And the fact was that Indian students studied harder than we did in Sweden. They read the textbook twice, or three times or four times."

"I meet so many that think population growth is a major problem in regard to climate change. But the number of children born per year in the world has stopped growing since 1990. The total number of children below 15 years of age in the world are now relatively stable around 2 billion."

"If you have democracy, people will vote for washing machines. They love them!"

"It this terrible simplification that there is one Africa, and things go on in one way in Africa. We have to stop that, it is not respectful, and it's not very clever to think that way. I had the fortune to live and work for a time in the United States. I found out that Salt Lake City and San Francisco were different. And so it is in Africa, it's a lot of difference. What do we think it would be concurrency? And what is concurrency? In Sweden, we have no concurrency. We have serial monogamy. Vodka New Year's Eve, new partner for the spring, vodka Midsummer Eve, new partner for the fall, vodka, and it goes on like this, you know, and you collect a big number of ex's, and we've got a terrible chlamydia epidemic."

"I've done a lot of practical anthropology, living in villages with people and realizing how difficult it is to get out of poverty. When in poverty, people use their skill to avoid hunger. They can't use it for progress."

"If your economy grows [by] 4 percent, you ought to reduce child mortality 4 percent."

"You don't have to get rich to have [fewer] children. It has happened across the world."

"When I have an argument with someone, even with someone I am not very close with, I can't sleep at night thinking about it. It's terrible. But I still manage speak out frankly because I have also been gifted with the ability to read people. I can sense when they start to get irritated with me, and then, I shift."

"We have great international experts within India telling us that the climate is changing, and actions has to be taken, otherwise China and India would be the countries most to suffer from climate change."

"Well, the truth is I'm very scared for people to dislike me. I have conflict-avoidance."

"You have to fit in sometimes to make people comfortable to listen to you."

"What I?m really worried about is war. Will the former rich countries really accept a completely changed world economy, and a shift of power away from where it has been the last 50 to 100 to 150 years, back to Asia?"