Quality of Life: India vs. China

That is the title of an article by Amartya Sen in the current issue of the New York Review of Books.  Just like yesterday’s post, it may be a little outside of our normal focus, but it is a fascinating study:

Some statistics about China and India, drawn mainly from the World Bank and the United Nations, are relevant here. Life expectancy at birth in China is 73.5 years; in India it is 64.4 years. The infant mortality rate is fifty per thousand in India, compared with just seventeen in China; the mortality rate for children under five is sixty-six per thousand for Indians and nineteen for the Chinese; and the maternal mortality rate is 230 per 100,000 live births in India and thirty-eight in China. The mean years of schooling in India were estimated to be 4.4 years, compared with 7.5 years in China. China’s adult literacy rate is 94 percent, compared with India’s 74 percent according to the preliminary tables of the 2011 census.

Sen  goes onto to provide a very balanced assessment of democratic India versus autocratic China, and the advantages and disadvantages of each system in terms of development.  The full article is here, but it available to subscribers only.  (You can purchase a “day pass” for $6 or the magazine itself at the newsstand.)

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