What does pollution, wealth and health have in common in the six largest ASEAN economies (aka ASEAN+6)? Take a look at this (long) albeit informative infographic.
Looking at the first line graph, there is a clear correlation between GDP per capita and Energy Use per capita. Starting in 1990, both factors had an upward trend. Some countries more drastically than others. It’s obvious that Singapore is strides ahead of the other ASEAN+6 in terms of wealth. The remaining five (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia) all cluster towards the bottom. Correspondingly, Singapore’s Energy Use per capita is also quite high.
As far as actual CO2 emissions per capita goes, Malaysia emits a hair more than Singapore despite their per person energy usage as substantially less. Perhaps Singapore uses cleaner energy on the whole, resulting in less CO2 emissions.
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Clearly these relationships are extensive topics with many interplaying parts. I, alone, cannot cover every inch.
What I did find interesting and wish I could have put more times towards is the fact that despite Singapore having much more wealth than Vietnam (the smallest ASEAN+6 economy) their death rate due to cancer was double. Sure, the average lifespan for a Singaporean is the highest of all ASEAN+6 nations–but not by all that much.
And surprisingly, Vietnam with the lowest overall GDP as well as GDP per capita has the second highest life expectancy of all ASEAN+6 countries. So, at least in this case, wealth does not relate to living longer. Nor does decreased CO2 emissions.
So, in the end, what does this mean? Does pollution even matter as far as health goes– and overall living longer? Does pollution have any relation to the rate of cancer, or respiratory diseases? Or maybe the high rates of cancer diagnosis in Singapore have to do with their abundant wealth. You know, things that go hand-in-hand with a lavish lifestyle.
Or maybe Singapore’s health care system exceeds the rest and many go undiagnosed with cancer in other ASEAN+6 countries.