Demand, Supply, Sustainability and Security
Edited by Raghbendra Jha, Raghav Gaiha and Anil B. Deolalikar
Chapter 12: Economic prosperity and non-communicable disease: understanding the linkages
The period since the end of World War II has been characterised by major gains in the economic well-being of the world's population. Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita rose from roughly $4430 to $16 905 (2005 international $) between 1950 and 2010, and with the notable exception of sub-Saharan Africa, all regions of the world experienced substantial economic gains during this period (see Figure 12.1). The post-war period has also been characterised by large improvements in population health. The average Frenchman could expect, at the time of birth, to live for 64 years in 1950. In 2010, his life expectancy at birth was almost 78 years. The gains in life expectancy have been even more dramatic in low-and middle-income countries. In India, life expectancy at birth increased from 39 years in 1950 to 65 years in 2010, an increase of almost 67 percent; and Uganda, which was severely affected by an HIV/AIDS epidemic during the 1980s and 1990s, saw its life expectancy at birth increase from 38 years in 1950 to 54 years in 2010, more than a 40 per cent increase. Overall, the gains in life expectancy worldwide since the early 1900s have been sufficiently large to exceed the cumulative improvement in life expectancy in the preceding 200 000 years of human history (Fogel, 1986).
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