The tide first began to turn against land mine use in 1997 when 122 countries signed the Mine Ban Treaty, and the number of land-mine casualties has decreased almost every year since then, reaching its lowest recorded point in 2013.
Children, in particular, recently saw the first meaningful decline since 2000. The 2013 decline in poverty was the first meaningful decline for the overall population since 2006.
US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal prison population dropped after decades of increases. Both conservatives and liberals are 'coming together on these issues.'
The 1987 Montreal Protocol, which banned the production of 100 chemicals, is having an impact. Scientists expect full recovery of Earth's ozone layer by midcentury.
According to a recent survey, median retirement nest eggs among employed adults of all ages either doubled or tripled between 2007 and 2014. The increase in retirement savings can be credited, in part, to a booming stock market and increased awareness of the need to save.
The poverty rate for children fell nearly 2 full percentage points last year, according to the US Census Bureau.
Last year, new global capacity of hydroelectricity, wind, solar, and other renewable power grew more than in any previous year. Clean energy faces daunting obstacles, but the progress on energy and climate to date is notable and likely to continue.
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.
Child-wellness indicators like education and health came off better in the most recent Kid's Count Data Book report, which was released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. However, the number of children living in poverty rose between 2005 and 2012.
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.
If the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument becomes a marine reserve, it would double the area globally subject to tight fishing restrictions. Other countries are also working to expand the area of such ocean havens.
UN Millennium Development Goals report shows how 'bold targeting' has reduced the gap between boys and girls attending primary school, malaria mortality, and the number of people living without improved water sources.
Five of the new 'high priority' countries – Ethiopia, India, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, and Nigeria – account for 50 percent of child deaths worldwide.
The percentage of students who had smoked cigarettes at least once in the past 30 days was 15.7 percent, the lowest figure since tracking began in 1991, according to the CDC.
Homelessness in America has declined 17 percent since 2005 as states reverse the old prevailing wisdom. Now, moving into a home can be the first step off the streets, not the last.
Four-year high school graduation rates hit 80 percent, capping a decade of significant improvement and suggesting that US schools can hit even more ambitious goals by 2020.
The island night lizard was delisted as an endangered species in the US this week, after three decades of restoration efforts. Its recovery highlights an increased success rate in reestablishing endangered species.
Afghanistan goes to the polls on Saturday. Hundreds of women are running for provincial council posts, and former minister is making history as the first-ever female vice presidential candidate.
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.
Observed misconduct in US workplaces is at its lowest point in almost two decades, an achievement that appears to be related to companies’ increasing investment in ethics and compliance initiatives.
New FBI data confirm a sustained drop in the US crime rate, despite a broader definition of what constitutes rape. Creative policing, better use of data, and community involvement play a role.
The Nuclear Materials Security Index notes progress in several countries. In the last two years, seven have given up most of their weapons-grade uranium and plutonium, while others are tightening security measures.
USAID is reporting 'extraordinary results' from a pilot program in Zambia and Uganda that gives pregnant women travel vouchers and spares them hours of walking to obtain health care.
States are cracking down on child sex trafficking in the US, including prostitution, pornography, and sexual performance, by better identifying victims and attaching stiff penalties to new laws.