Increased food supply is one reason that children around the world today are the healthiest ever born. An Indian baby born in 2011 has almost double the probability of surviving the first year of life as a baby born in 1960.

The 7-billionth child will also be better educated than a child born in 1960. Big increases in education in the developing world are one of the most impressive accomplishments of the last 50 years, especially given unprecedented growth of school-age populations. Only about one-third of Indian girls born in 1960 completed primary school, compared with about three-fourths of those born in 1990. For an Indian girl born in 2011 the rate will be even higher.

The probability that a child will grow up in poverty has been going down. For developing countries as a whole, the percentage living below the World Bank’s $1.25-per-day poverty line fell from 50% in 1981 to 25% in 2005. India’s poverty rate fell from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005 and can be expected to keep falling.