In every region except Latin America, consumers now expect the job market to be good or excellent in the coming year. The number is the highest since before the Great Recession.
More people worldwide have gained access to an 'improved' source of drinking water, or one that is not likely to be susceptible to outside contamination, says the World Health Organization.
In key regions, private firms and governments are taking action.
Changes to a federal nutrition program and Michelle Obama's nutrition and exercise campaign may have played a role in the dramatic decline in early-childhood obesity, some say.
It's getting easier to do business in many countries, according to a World Bank report, with Eastern Europe and Central Asia making significant strides this year.
Reports by the African Development Bank, World Bank, and McKinsey show how Africa continues to offer a bright spot in the global economy.