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Lecture 5

Week 5 Lecture Note

Course Code

of 6
Midterm exam next week (see midterm study guide on Blackboard)
Sample question #3:
oGo back to population measurements fertility rate, GDP, or life expectancy
oThen briefly discuss how fertility rates, for example, relate to population
Essay due date is postponed one week later March 9 (see essay study guide
on Blackboard)
In-class assignment will also be one week later March 23
Session 4: Why do Scotsmen and Botswanians die young? Of mortality and
Demographic transition
Mortality transition refers to longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality rates, and
lower population growth that occurs over time
In the more developed countries, this mortality transition took place in the 19th and
early 20th century and started in the less developed countries around WWII and
However, in developed countries, mortality transition was more quicker than
nowadays because of the availability of modern medicines, health care, and improved
nutrition and sanitation
Variations of mortality rates can occur over time, this is called the mortality
How did this take place over time?
oFirst, when people were still hunters and gatherers, infant mortality rates
were quite high, especially for children under the age of 5
oBut if they made it over the age of 5, then they had a healthy life until they
were in their 20s and 30s
oSo we have to keep in mind that until hundreds of years later, life expectancy
of 30 or 40 years was quite a long ride
After advanced agricultural techniques in place, human settlement occurred,
however this brought human diseases due to denser population and poorer
sanitation in these settlements, and illness and diseases travelled through space
through trades
The industrial revolution was brought by the businessmen and economic elites,
however was put out because they feared the economic development of their
industries in their cities were in danger if they worked in factories and become ill
So public health initiatives in late 18th and early 19th century helped to improve the
social and economic living conditions
However, there were still infectious diseases these were leading causes of death in
early 19th century
Pneumonia was and still is a cause of death, however much more in 18th century
than nowadays
Flu was a huge leading cause of death and still is nowadays
Measles was a leading cause of death in earlier times
However, some diseases didnt react to social improvements, for example diphtheria
those diseases were already located in immunization programs
Only for the last 60 years did we have comfortable health conditions that we all
experience nowadays
However, there is something that is called epidemiological transition and this now
brought different causes of death for the majority of people nowadays in the more
developed world
From these infectious and contagious diseases, we now suffer more from chronic and
generic disorders like cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases
However, still 40% of all death in less developed world are from children under the
age of 5
In the more developed world, only 2% of diseases are from people under 20
More elders die in developed world, and younger children die in less developed
Crude birth rates 2008
We have seen that there are huge fertility rates in the less developed world especially
in central and south Africa
This corresponds to death rates in 2006 where we can find the highest death rates in
the less developed world especially in South Africa
Crude birth rates 2006
Crude birth rate (CDR) = (# of deaths / # of total population) x 1000
Life expectancies compared
The table shows the top ten countries with highest life expectancy and lowest ten
countries with lowest life expectancy
There still is a huge difference with small places like Macau with more than 84 years
of life
It is very difficult to capture these differences, that is why statisticians look at each
age group/year and then adjust for the breadth of this population range in a country,
and in the end, they end up with life expectancy for all of them
However, the age specific death rates (ASDR) are for one certain age group in a
certain population
How do they come up with ASDR? they refer to life tables , which are calculated by
actuaries in government and make probability of dying in these groups (e.g. 15 year
old smokers, female 20 year old outdoor skiers), and they come up with life table and
figure out how many of those countries are female 20 year old outdoor skiers, how
many are 15 year old smokers, and so on
So life expectancies are quite a complex term, which simplify how old a person will
become in the end
Usually, when we talk about life expectancies, it is a shortcut to life expectancy at
Why these life expectancies differ is because of health conditions in certain countries
and due to the fact that there are infectious diseases like small pox or yellow fever
that still have the fault against it
As well, not just life expectancies are important here, but also the infant mortality
Infant mortality rates compared
= rates to how many children survive their first year in comparison to all born
Infant mortality rate (IMR) = (# of children < age 1 / # of life births) x 1000
Canada could still improve their health system because every 5 in 100 children die,
which is more than double of less developed countries
MDG 4: reduce child mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015
UN Millennium Development Goals eight goals to achieve to better all countries
and to help the people by the year 2015:
1.Eradicate for extreme poverty and hunger
2.Achieve primary and secondary education
3.Promote gender equality and power of women
4.Reduce child mortality rates
5. Improve maternal health
6.Combat AIDs and HIV and other diseases
7.Ensure environmental sustainability
8.Develop global partnership for development
Gapminder World
US spends a lot of money on health care, but this does not cause longer life
There are variations of mortality rates between countries as well as within countries
There are variations of mortality rates by age, sex, social class, race, location, and
even ethnicity
oAge: people may suffer more diseases at younger age than older age
oLocation: provision of health is less good in less developed countries, that is
why death rates is higher in these countries
oSex: males and females have different mortality rates because men went to
war, women have more social support, men have higher stress levels from the
job they have and more physical labour is main purpose, so male mortality
rate is higher than women
Mortality & Social Class
Table compares different social classes defined by occupation and status in UK
especially in England and Wales
Shows standardized mortality ratios by social class