Back With A Vengeance.
Attosecond pulses of light.
1. Can China overcome its demographic deficit? Martin Wolf:
More important than (China’s shrinking population), is the change in the age composition of the population. While the overall population is forecast to shrink by 113mn between 2020 and 2050, the number of people over 65 will rise, according to these projections, by 215 million, while the number of those below the age of 20 will shrink by 137 million and those between 20 and 64 will shrink by 191 million. As a result, those over 65 will jump from 13 to 30 per cent of the population. Those aged under 20 will shrink from 24 to 15 per cent and those aged 20 to 64 from 64 to 55 per cent. By 2100, suggests the UN, the share of the over-65s will be an astonishing 41 per cent of the population. This would be a country just full of old men and women. (Source: ft.com, italics mine)
2. The United States is failing at a fundamental mission — keeping people alive. After decades of progress, life expectancy — long regarded as a singular benchmark of a nation’s success — peaked in 2014 at 78.9 years, then drifted downward even before the coronavirus pandemic. Among wealthy nations, the United States in recent decades went from the middle of the pack to being an outlier. And it continues to fall further and further behind. A year-long Washington Post examination reveals that this erosion in life spans is deeper and broader than widely recognized, afflicting a far-reaching swath of the United States. While opioids and gun violence have rightly seized the public’s attention, stealing hundreds of thousands of lives, chronic diseases are the greatest threat, killing far more people between 35 and 64 every year, The Post’s analysis of mortality data found. (Sources: washingtonpost.com, commentary.org)
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