The vast majority of our ancestors lived and died in humanity’s natural state of disease-ridden abject poverty and pervasive ignorance. In 1820, about 84% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day per person). Back then, most of the world lived under a king or iron-handed ruler and there was little free-market capitalism.
In 1910 66% lived in poverty. In 1950 it had fallen to 55%. Today only 8.6% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty.