Saturday, October 25, 2008

Interesting Fact of the Day: Life Expectancy in Russia Is Lower Today Than It Was 50 Years Ago

Russia’s health situation today is a disaster — substantially worse than during the Mikhail Gorbachev years or even the Leonid Brezhnev era. In 2006, overall life expectancy in Russia, at fewer than 67 years, was actually lower than it had been at the end of the 1950s, nearly half a century earlier. For a literate, urbanized society during peacetime, such a monumental public health failure is an extraordinary historical anomaly. Russian life expectancy nowadays is about the same as India’s, and life expectancy for Russian men, today barely over 60 years, is lower than for their counterparts in Pakistan.

Nicholas Eberstadt, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in today's NY Times

12 Comments:

At 10/25/2008 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will save billions on Social Security payouts, we need to do the same here.

 
At 10/25/2008 12:25 PM, Anonymous qt said...

Russian stock market is down 75%, the government has spent billions trying to stabilize the collapsing rubel, oil prices are half their recent peak, and foreign direct investment has plummeted due to the Georgian incursion. Putin's 5.5% GDP growth projections would appear unlikely.

Male life expectancy in Russia may be even lower than the 60 years stated in the article, see here and here.

 
At 10/25/2008 12:38 PM, Anonymous qt said...

Economists also are warning of a sharp economic slowdown in Russia, which has enjoyed growth as high as 8% in recent years. Next year, that figure could be below 4%, according to some economists, and could fall to zero if oil prices fall to $50 or below and remain there.

The Russian economy is very dependent on high oil prices and its financial sector is more highly leveraged than banks in the EU.

 
At 10/25/2008 6:01 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

The remarkably low life expectancy for men has two major causes: violent deaths among the young and chronic alcoholism. The USSR sold alcohol at low prices (to placate the masses), and I believe that prices remained low after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

 
At 10/25/2008 7:52 PM, Anonymous qt said...

...also chronic heart disease according to the article.

 
At 10/25/2008 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If are unemployment and economny gets worse more U.S. citizens will also suffer from chronic alcoholism which will lower our life expectancy.

This will result in lower unemployment rates and less spending on retirements which lowers our national defecit and provides for a better future.

Alcohol is a wondeful correction factor for any troubled economy.

 
At 10/26/2008 1:17 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> If are unemployment and economny gets worse more U.S. citizens will also suffer from chronic alcoholism which will lower our life expectancy.

All the more reason to reject Obama's plan to increase alcohol consumption by spreading the wealth.

Free Vodka for all those who earn minimum wage!


LOL.

 
At 10/26/2008 1:55 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Interesting Fact of the Day: Life Expectancy in Russia Is Lower Today Than It Was 50 Years Ago

Clearly, they were better off under socialized medicine...

"Snicker"

 
At 10/26/2008 6:47 PM, Anonymous qt said...

> If are unemployment and economny gets worse more U.S. citizens will also suffer from chronic alcoholism which will lower our life expectancy.

Guess you mean "our unemployment".

The lower life expectancy and reduced birth rates in Russia have been the subject of commentary for over ten years. There are references to the 59 yr. male life expentancy as far back as 1995.

Although liquor consumption often temporarily increases during an economic downturn, what we see in Russia reflects the results of lifestyle patterns throughout the balance of adulthood not just reaction to periodic economic downturns.

Never ceases to amaze that there is always someone who thinks that other citizens should oblige the national balance sheet by dying. Seldom, however, are there an equal number of volunteers for this assignment.

God bless us every one.

 
At 10/26/2008 9:17 PM, Blogger Kevin Murphy said...

They made a movie about the US & Russia that turns out to have been prescient: The Undiscovered Country. Russia, just like the Klingons, is dying. The question is what are we (us and them) going to do about it - fight it out, or figure out how to integrate Russia into the West, which didn't work out so well the first time we tried.

As long as the Russian people are in denial about the bleakness of their future it won't get any better.

 
At 10/26/2008 11:31 PM, Anonymous qt said...

Kevin,

Russia has "Russian style democracy" which is not really far off totalitarianism ie. # of journalists mysteriously shot, attempted/successful political assassinations beyond Russia's borders (ie. Victor Yushenko & Alexander Litvinenko), seizure of private assets by government (ie. Yukos), opponents being arrested/barred from elections (ie. Gary Kasparov).

Unfortunately, the Russian people have very limited control over their future. The legacy of totalitarian communism continues to play out in modern Russia.

Let us hope that the present financial crisis will break the hold of Vladimir Putin and that the Russian people will get the opportunity for some semblance of a decent standard of living and rule of law.

A change is as good as a rest.

 
At 10/27/2008 11:43 AM, Blogger Kevin Murphy said...

qt,

Putin IMHO is a popular dictator and the Russian people have a distorted view of the world, in large part because of their polical past.

As long as the people have a distored world view, replacing Putin alone is unlikely to bring much change.

We blew our last chance with "shock therapy" - let's hope we don't turn the academics loose on the Russians if we get another.

 

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