A population's life expectancy is another statistic that gives us insight into the overall health and environmental conditions of a nation. Longer life expectancies indicate populations with sound, stable health care and relatively healthy environmental conditions. Short life expectancies indicate harsher environmental conditions (such as high levels of pollution, or otherwise dangerous living conditions) and a health care system that isn't functioning properly if at all.
An interesting side note to this situation is that as health conditions improve in a nation, and the life expectancy of its population increases, more people live for a longer time forcing the population upwards. This wouldn't cause problems if the birth rate declined proportionally to the death rate, however birth rates generally don't decline for a number of years after the improvement. Therefore the population of the country tends to balloon dramatically during this development period. A population explosion due to this phenomenon is expected to continue for much of the developing world.
Newsweek Demographic Data. World Thematic Map Data Description. ESRI Website. 2000. this address (23 March 2000).
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