Can Cuba Escape Poverty but Stay Healthy? - NYTimes.com
Cuba has many economic problems, including the inefficiencies of central planning and the long trade embargo with the United States. Yet the country has a thriving public health system that has made its population among the healthiest in the world.
Researchers call it the Cuban Health Paradox. The country’s economic isolation has left it poor, but people there live as long as their counterparts in much richer countries. According to data from the World Bank, life expectancy for someone born in Cuba in 2011 was 79 years, just a little longer than that of an infant born in the United States the same year. But the United States economy is more than eight times larger, per person, than Cuba’s. Meanwhile, in countries like Iraq and Belarus, where, like Cuba, the economy produces about $6,000 annually per person, the life expectancies are more than eight years shorter.
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