More than 15 percent of terrestrial and inland water areas around the globe are now under protection. The United Nations established a target of 17 percent by 2020.
Eleven percent of the world's children – about 168 million – are currently subjected to child labor, but between 2000 and 2012, the number of children involved was cut by one-third.
The decline is occurring at the same time as two factors long believed to lead to an increase in crime: The US prison population is dropping and the number of young adults has risen.
In recent years, many nations have reduced wage gaps, increased female college enrollment, and expanded the role of women in government. But there's still work to be done – a recent report estimates that complete gender equality in economic participation and opportunity remains decades away.
MIT's Open Style Lab creates functional, stylish clothes for those with disabilities.
Under the deal signed Nov. 12, the US would cut emissions twice as fast as President Obama's earlier target. China, for the first time, set an emissions target, saying they would peak by about 2030, if not earlier.
Nearly two dozen species of Pacific groundfish, including snapper, Dover sole, and dogfish, and Atlantic haddock, among others, are all making a comeback. The rebounds can be attributed to the passing of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the US management system.
The rate of fatal workplace injuries in the US is 25 percent lower than it was in 2006 and it's been trending downward for the past two decades, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decline in certain dangerous occupations, as well as better regulations, have contributed.
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.