Death Rates and Economics


A recent study published by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shed light on a fascinating link between the elder population and the economy. Based on data and analysis, high death rates directly correlate to a nation’s expanded economy or during a ‘boom’ time. Conversely, when economies head for recession, the death rates decrease.

As life expectancy throughout the world increases, researchers decided to research the link between age and Gross Domestic Product from 1950 – 2008. While the over-arching result was that an increase in GDP had lower death rates, the relative cycles of BOOM and BUST told of different story.

Boom times equate to a higher death rate, while the road to recession has a lower death rate.

Possible reasons for the counter-intuitive facts puzzled researchers. Several ideas included higher stress and air pollution, but those explanations didn’t cover gender differences and other issues. Unhealthy lifestyle and traffic accidents could also contribute, but are unlikely to fully explain these fascinating figures. Probably one of the biggest factors involved are the changes in social support systems. Perhaps higher employment could mean less time for informal care-giving to the elderly, and heighten stress. These theories are still being substantiated, however. Further studies and time will tell!

ACCfamily is here through the BOOM and the BUST, providing quality care regardless of the average life expectancy or GDP. You can count on that.