This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hong Kong Takes Over From Japan in Life Expectancy Race

The big health news today is that for the first time in a long time, Japanese women are not the longest lived in the world. The new leaders are women in Hong Kong. BBC News reports that:

The expected lifespan for Japanese women dropped from 86.30 years in 2010 to to 85.90 years in 2011.
The official life expectancy for women in Hong Kong last year was 86.70 years.
Japan has topped the women's rankings for a quarter of a century, with longevity attributed in part to a healthy traditional diet.
While some of the drop for Japanese women might have been due to the devastating earthquake, it appears that a rise in suicide and deaths from natural causes also contributed to the drop. Japanese men also experienced a drop in life expectancy and went from fourth to eighth on the global list. 

Note, by the way, the typical confusion in the BBC story about the difference between life expectancy and lifespan.

1 comment:

  1. The increase in the life expectancy in Hong Kong shows where they are on the demographic transition. If they are having longer life expectancy that means they have made improvements in health care, hygiene, sanitation, food production and storage along with education. When death rates are low birth rates are normally low which would increase the standard of living within the country and also lead to population stability.