Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Putin Effect: Russian life expectancy surges to 74 years — Jon Hellevig

When Vladimir Putin first became president in 2000, he inherited an economically devastated and socially depressed country, with a grim life expectancy of only 65.5 years. That was way behind all Western countries and at a shameful 124th position among the world’s countries. But with political stability, economic growth, and improved security under Putin coupled with decisive efforts to improve healthy lifestyles and the healthcare system, the situation has rapidly changed for the better. According to the latest figures for 2019H1, Russian life expectancy has shot up to 74 years (to be precise, 73.7). Russian women now have an average expected life span of 78 years and men 68. That’s a ten-year gap between the sexes. But the situation back in 2000 was especially extremely dire for men, who then had an average life expectancy of only 59 years. That means a 16% improvement by now. In the same period, women have seen their odds go up by 8%, so the gap is indeed closing.
How remarkable this improvement is can best be gleaned from comparing Russia’s situation with that of other countries. In below chart we juxtaposed Russia with the United States. In 2000, the difference in life expectancy between the two countries was 11.1 years or 14.5% in favor of the US. But by 2019, the difference had shrunk to only 4.8 years or 6.1%. In the national strategic development programs Putin ordered to be implemented in connection with resuming presidency in 2018, there is a goal to push life expectancy up to 78 years by 2024 and further to 80 by 2030. Looking at the tremendous trend, that seems feasible for Russia to achieve, and when we also consider that the US is actually regressing on this measure, it is indeed to be likely that by 2024 the two rivaling countries have the same life expectancy score. By reaching the rate of 80 according to the 2030 plan, Russia would then actually overtake America. That would of course be sort of a miracle, taking into account how really awfully bad things were in Russia in the 1980s and 1990s....
The Putin Effect: Russian life expectancy surges to 74 years
Jon Hellevig, founder Awara Group

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