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December 21, 2007


Tom Sheepandgoats

Doing some cursory research on the internet, I see that life expectancy for the Chinese (Beijing) is 80 years. Isn't it only slightly higher here? In China there is barely any health insurance. It's in its infancy and companies that specialize in life and retirement describle health insurance as not very profitable.

Now, I don't advocate going without health insurance. Yet the system here is such a hopeless mess, (as the alternatives seem to be also) consuming enormous resources and delivering no greater life expectancy than another culture that does without.


I have seen some information showing that in general, wealth dictates health. So those who are driving up the average life expectancy tend to be the wealthiest classes.

The poor still suffer from the easily curable diseases that the First World regards as inconsequential. Although diet and lifestyle differences are a large part of life expectancy, access to medical care is important as well.

Also, access to education about health and medical care (hygiene, first aid) make a difference as well. With China's emerging middle class and rapidly growing economy, I would expect an initial rise in life expectancy with it stabilizing once a middle class has been thoroughly established.

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