Recently in I&S class, we have been learning and discussing the different ways a countries development can be measured. For this assessment blog post, we picked two countries and the we compared and contrasted their level of development over the years.
For this blog post I picked to compare and contrast Kenya and Japan’s life expectancy rate (in years) and Income per person (GDP/capita). The first huge gap I noticed about these two countries are that (referring to the statistics in 2012) Japan has a larger life expectancy compared to Kenya which still lies around the part where they only live until 61 when Japan has a life expectancy of 83 in the same year (2012). Even though Japan is currently at the top of the graph for life expectancy, it was once near Kenya’s life expectancy rate in 1945 (Japan’s life expectancy rate was 31 when Kenya’s life expectancy rate was 29 at that time). Which was the year when World War II ended. Even though Japan had more developed technology, the tables were flipped when they lost in World War II. I believe that this mostly because at that time, Japan’s priority was to win and get the fighting airplanes back safely so they can use them again and not the soldiers and the citizens lives. Which is probably one of Japan’s worst decisions ever made during World War II. While on the other hand, Americas first priority was to get the soldiers back safely. This decision lead to America still having the experts and the experienced soldiers. It is noticeable that the reason America won the war beside the development of technology was that they didn’t act and not care like soldiers were things and not actually living which is what Japan exactly did and killed all their skillful and intelligent soldiers.
From the 1945, it is clear that Japan has recovered and now leads the graph along with other MEDC’s. In addition, the average income per person (2012 data) in Japan is $31274 when Kenya is around $1518 on average which is a huge gap and tells us indirectly that Japan has developed medical care and technology which leads to a higher life expectancy when Kenya is still not that developed. But Kenya also had its ups and downs for example, in Kenya the years, from 1989 up until about 2000, the life expectancy rate has decreased and in 2000 it was 53. This can be explained by the diseases that were around and was epidemic at that time such as HIV and AIDS. Also by the mid 1990’s it was one of the major causes of mortality in the country putting huge demands on the healthcare system including economy.
Then I looked at child mortality rate (0-5 year-olds dying per 1,000 born) and children per women. By looking at this graph, I noticed that the average children per women is 1.4 kids and the child mortality rate is 3 which is extremely low and shows why the population is decreasing now and there aren’t that much young people in the population now of Japan because their are more aged people compared to young people which means that this generation will struggle on this issue in the future. I believe that Japan has a very low risk of a new born dying because, Japan’s medical equipment in hospitals are developed which helps save lives. But on the other hand, Kenya does not have medical equipment and technology as developed as Japan which is why their is a gap between the child mortality rate for Japan and for Kenya which is 73. Also I believe that people that live in Kenya have more children’s compared to Japan because, they need children’s to help them with their farms because most of the people that live in Kenya only gets a small amount of incomes every year so they don’t have enough money to hire helpers that can help them with their farms or their house work like we can if we wanted to.
I have learnt a lot from all the research I’ve done and also working with gap minder helped me understand the statistics because it is easily visualized and mainly because I find graphs easier to understand then a big chunk of words about the topic with complicated words and phrases I’ve never heard before. Now I also know terms that I didn’t know before this unit has started. Such as MEDC’s, LEDC’s, child morality and GDP Capita etc.