‘Factfulness’ test: how well do you know the world around you?


It’s not often that I read a book which makes me think differently about the world. Hans Rosling’s Factfulness has a subtitle, “Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think.”

Bill Gates said of this book: “One of the most important books I’ve ever read – an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.”

Please take the test before reading the review of the book in the following article. We asked the publisher and Book Depository for a special discount for our readers without success, but since the latter offers free postage of a hard cover version for only $20 (or $14 if you want to wait for the release of the soft cover), there’s not much point shopping around.

Many of you will know Rosling from the extraordinary visualisation he created in 2010 on ‘200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats’. Viewed some 8.5 million times, in only four minutes he takes us through how life expectancy and income changed around the world over 200 years. The Youtube link is here.

The Factfulness book starts with a quiz to test yourself about the world and how you understand it. We have recreated the test below so we can compare Cuffelinks readers with both the Australian and worldwide results. Please take a few minutes to do the test. 

Create your own user feedback survey

We will report the results in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, you can read about some of the answers on this link.

Footnote: The material provided in Factfulness and Gapminder uses free global development data. They upload content to their website using animated techniques which make it easier to use. The World Bank initially objected, but Gapminder asked, “Don’t you believe in free access to information in order for global forces to work as they should?” In 2010, the World Bank decided to release all its data for free. Gapminder operates a Creative Common Attribution Licence 4.0.

Free fact-questions from www.gapminder.org.


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5 Responses to ‘Factfulness’ test: how well do you know the world around you?

  1. Alan Scott October 20, 2018 at 12:08 PM #

    I am an optimist however I thought the world was in a bigger mess than it is. 3/13!? May have to invest in the book to change my ideas of the world for the better…

  2. Liam October 14, 2018 at 9:26 AM #

    69% even when I leaned towards optimistic. I am really pleased to be wrong on some of those questions. Book ordered!

  3. Dane Allen October 12, 2018 at 9:46 AM #

    Oh dear!! Here I was thinking of myself as learned and well read and I got 30%. As Einstein once said: “the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know. That’s my feeling. Will pick up the book for sure.

  4. Bruce October 12, 2018 at 8:37 AM #

    Great edition this week. The good news on population health and education travels slow these days and the late Hans Rosling did a lot to tilt the balance positive. I thought I knew a bit about this but only got 6 out of 10 ! I must get the book.

  5. Annette October 11, 2018 at 3:39 PM #

    Thanks Graham for highlighting this issue. The book has been a revelation.

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