13 Jul

America the unequal: (some US counties have the life expectancy of a developing world country)

I wrote about this effect last year, when I pointed out that the life expectancy in my own county was similar to that of the developing world. I got a lot of shit for it, but inequality in America means that there is tremendous disparity within the country.

“Life expectancy for males in 11% and for females in 14% of US counties was below that of Nicaragua. In some counties, such as McDowell County, WV and Sunflower County, MS, life expectancies are lower than Bangladesh for males and Algeria for females. “

(Via Life Expectancy in Some U.S. Counties Is No Better Than in the Third World – NationalJournal.com.)

Here’s what I wrote last year:

But in many ways, when I’m at a gas station in Allen County, Ohio and my attendant has most of their teeth pulled I have to remember I’m not living in ‘THE US-Fucking-A,’ but Allen County, which according to the research done above has an average lifespan of 71.9 years, putting it almost 10 years on average BELOW the US average, and which means I roughly am living in a part of the US with the equivalence of, according to Wikipedia, a place like El Salvador or Armenia (although, unlike those other countries, since Allen County is in the US, I can drive to a better place for opportunities if I can afford a car and transportation).

Compare the US method to Finland, the leader in many categories, in this article:

My cousin’s husband gets 36 vacation days per year, not including holidays. If he wants, he can leave his job for a brief hiatus and come back to a guaranteed position months later.

Tuition at his daughter’s university is free, though she took out a small loan for living expenses. Its interest rate is 1%.

My cousin is a recent immigrant, and while she was learning the language and training for jobs, the state gave her €700 a month to live on.

They had another kid six years ago, and though they both work, they’ll collect 100 euros a month from the government until the day she turns 17.

Inarguably one of the world’s most generous—and successful—welfare states, the country has a lower infant mortality rate, better school scores, and a far lower poverty rate than the United States, and it’s the second-happiest country on earth (the US doesn’t break the top 10).