MIH512-Demography and Health (Module 3-CBT) - Essay Example

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The first one deals with fertility decline. Nearly 100 areas of the world now are categorized as sub replacement. This means that if the child bearing trends…
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MIH512-Demography and Health (Module 3-CBT)
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The four unexpected surprises mentioned in the Eberstadt article center on four key elements of demographic shift. The first one deals with fertility decline. Nearly 100 areas of the world now are categorized as sub replacement. This means that if the child bearing trends currently shown continue indefinitely, these places will reach a population plateau followed by a steady indefinite decrease in population (Eberstadt, 2003). The surprise in this area comes from the fact that expected areas such as Western Europe and Asian countries with strong governmental intervention in family planning, but also in areas such as Northern Africa and Turkey. Another surprise the effect Asian style government family planning, specifically in China, will have on the age of the population. China is rapidly aging because so few children are being born.
Another surprise is the gender imbalance. In nations where one-child policies are in place and there is a cultural preference for boys, the abortion of girl fetuses or infanticide of female children has led to a great disparity between the numbers of men and women. Added to this surprise is the fact that the disparity among the educated and affluent in these countries is greater than that of poorer families that one would think would hold to a more traditional view of family.
Mortality holds the second surprise for Eberstadt. Traditional thinking leads us to believe that increases in medical technology, advanced medicines and education on nutrition will lead to an ever-increasing life expectancy. In Japan, each new birth cohort can expect to live longer than the one before it. In many places this is not true. In sub-Sahara Africa, the culprit is HIV-AIDS. But in places like Russia, the culprit is less exotic. Two-thirds of men in Russia are intoxicated when they die. Alcohol abuse alone seems to be accounting for Russia dwindling life expectancy among men.
The final surprise is the anomaly of America. America does not seem to be trending in any of the ways other nations are. America is surprisingly, evening out among age’s ranges. While places such as Russia and Europe will decrease in population and in world rankings, America will be holding its own if current trends continue.
The health care system in my home country of the United States will need to adapt to the changing demographics by learning how to deal with continued influxes of immigrants. The pictures painted by these surprises leads to the conclusion that places such a Russia and China could become less stable culturally and politically because of the pending demographics shifts of the next thirty years. Immigration always flows from unstable, economically disadvantaged areas to areas of stability and prosperity (Mittelstadt, 2009). It appears as though the demographic future of the United States points to stability. Under the current configuration of private insurance sponsored health care, illegal immigrants have very few healthcare options. For the benefit our American society, mechanisms will need to be developed to handle a continued influx of illegal immigrants.
Works Cited
Eberstadt, N. (2003, December 1). Four Unexpected Suprises. Washington D.C.: Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Mittelstadt, M. (2009, January 14). New Report: Legal, Illegal Immigration Flows React Differently to Recession; Return Migration, Though Probably Up, Is Not Yet a Definitive Trend. Retrieved November 12, 2009, from Migration Policy Institute: Read More
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