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Expand chart
Data: United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A child born today is half as likely to die before the age of 5, compared to if she was born in 2000, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reported.

The big picture: This isn't general global good fortune; rather, it's the result of targeted interventions, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, from GAVI, the Global Fund, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the Global Financing Facility.

  • Every year, more than 6 million children under the age of 5 survive who would have died had they been born in the 1990s. Those kids — especially the girls — are also being educated better than ever before.
  • Saving children's lives is the lowest-hanging fruit in the development world, and we're surprisingly good at it. That's not only fantastic for the children themselves and for their parents, it's also fantastic for their countries' economies.

Why it matters: These figures are worth remembering next time someone tells you that aid doesn't work and that we should all be investing in disruptive innovation and electric cars instead.

Go deeper

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.