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Health and Socioeconomic Change

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2 Author(s)

A cross national and cross temporal analysis of the statistics of 29 developed and 25 less developed countries (DC's and LDC's) from 1950 to 1975 shows that the relationship between the Indicators characterizing the performance of seven socioeconomic subsectors (demography, economy, education, communication, housing, nutrition, and health resources) and population health levels are not only quantitatively different for DC's and LDC's but also change at different rates. Changes in one subsector may be closely associated with changes in another subsector only until a certain level of development is reached. Correspondingly the development gap between the two groups has increased in some sectors and decreased in others. Furthermore the correlations between the socioeconomic Indicators used and health have become progressively weaker over this period for the DC's, while they are still increasing for LCD's. The ranking of all the countries along a socioeconomic and a health dimension showed that economy-a social dimension consisting of housing, nutrition, and medical resources-health, and education contribute most to the rank order for LDC's, while a social dimension consisting of communication, housing, and education assumes that role for DC's. Although many countries in both groups show a relatively balanced development with respect to the socioeconomic and the health dimensions, two special groups could be identified as either "health efficient" or "health Inefficient." We found no common denominator for this difference except consistent differences in crude death rate and violence between the two groups.

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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 12 )