Poverty in the UK damaging children’s health

‘Stark inequalities’ and high rates of child death, obesity and ill-health were all highlighted in a report on child health in the UK. Children living in the most deprived areas are much more likely to be in poor health, be overweight or obese, suffer from asthma, have poorly managed diabetes, experience mental health problems and die early. Children in the UK have higher death rates, obesity and ill-health than in much of Europe. The UK could do far more to improve ...

US bank, Citigroup, plans new operations away from London after Brexit

The US bank, Citigroup, has been in talks with Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Netherlands in search for new European base once UK leaves EU. Citigroup currently employs 9,000 people in the UK, and a further 12,000 people across the EU. Citigroup has set out 25 criteria to weigh up which financial centre in the European Union will house the new operation it expects to set up due to decision of the UK to pull out of the European Union ...

British ash trees may resist dieback disease

Genetic analysis shows native British ash trees may be more resistant than Danish ones to the deadly fungus that has spread across Europe. The ash is one of Europe’s most common trees. Ash dieback fungus first appeared in the UK in 2012, and has spread rapidly since. It is now found in more than half of the country. It has already affected 90% of trees in Denmark and threatens to all but wipe out ash trees there. The new genetic research ...

The Arctic Resilience Report

Scientists working on climate change in the Arctic warn that increasingly rapid melting could trigger 19 polar ‘tipping points’ with impacts felt as far away as the Indian Ocean. Temperatures in the Arctic have been as much as 20C higher than average and Arctic sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year. According to Marcus Carson, one of the lead authors of the Arctic Resilience Report, the warning signals are getting louder, and they have ...

Gender Equality in Iceland

In a country of only 330,000 people, there are 19 such primary and nursery schools, empowering girls from an early age. Since 2010, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index. The Economist recently named Iceland the world’s best place for working women. What is the reason for this gender success story? For centuries, Iceland’s women stayed at home as their went to sea. Without men at home, women played the roles of farmer, hunter, architect, builder. They ...

Demographic dividend

The demographic dividend refers to a bulge in the number of adults in a population. It occurs when fertility rates decline, allowing faster economic growth. The decline in fertility often follows a decline in infant and child mortality rates, as well as increased life expectancy. As families recognise that fewer children will die during infancy or childhood they begin to have fewer children. However, this drop in fertility rates is not immediate. The lag between falling death rates and falling ...

Forest fires in the USA

Climate change is causing devastation in America’s forests, owing to fire, insect-infestations and drought. All are related to a warming climate. In 2013, Yosemite National Park was affected by California’s third-largest ever wildfire, which burnt over a quarter of a million acres. Wildfires in the USA. Source: The Economist In 2015, over 10m of America’s 766m acres of forest were consumed by wildfires. This was the biggest area burned since 1960, and cost the government over $2 billion. The growth of wildfires is ...

Anti-trafficking policies

The USA publishes a Trafficking in Persons Report annually (http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/) and the United Nations has produced two reports on global trafficking. The USA’s Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA, 2000) encourages governments to join in the fight against human trafficking. The TVPA contains three main components: protection - increased efforts to protect foreign national victims as well as non-immigrants; prosecution - of traffickers related to forced labour and sexual exploitation prevention - to assist other governments to reduce trafficking. Attempts to reduce ...

Global Patterns and Classification of Economic Development

According to the World bank, a high income country (HIC) has a per capita income of over US$12,735 in 2014. The term HIC is often used interchangeably with ‘developed’ or ‘more developed’ or ‘advanced’. Low income countries are defined as those with less than US$1,025, and Middle income countries (MICs) are between US$1,026 and US$12,475. A distinction is sometime made between lower middle income countries (US$1025-US$4.36) and Upper middle income countries (US$4036- US$12,476). Some 5 billion people live in middle ...

Young People Living at Home

In the USA, men, African-Americans, Hispanics and less educated young people are particularly likely to live with their parents. For the first time in over 130 years, Americans ages 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents than in any other living situation. In that age group, 32.1 percent of people live in their parents' house, while 31.6 live with a spouse or partner in their own homes and 14 percent live alone, as single parents or in a home ...