Current Environmental Issues
It is high time for human beings to take the ‘right’ action towards saving the earth from major environmental issues. If ignored today, these ill effects are sure to curb human existence in the near future.
Our planet earth has a natural environment, known as ‘Ecosystem’ which includes all humans, plant life, mountains, glaciers, atmosphere, rocks, galaxy, massive oceans and seas. It also includes natural resources such as water, electric charge, fire, magnetism, air and climate.
Engineering developments are resulting in resource depletion and environmental destruction. Modern technologies used in the engineering and manufacturing industry have a major impact on our life in past few years. Due to the rapid changes in the engineering and manufacturing industry have been drastic changes in the environment. Learn how going green can help your business, hire the number 1 environmental speaker, Jim Harris.
Engineering and manufacturing industry has increased the use of materials like metals, plastic, oil and rubber. These are used in the production of numerous end products which can be associated with different industries such as Car production units, shipping industries, Cotton mills, plastics industries, Coal mining, heavy types of machinery and etc which are causing numerous arduous effects and are considered to be non-environment friendly.
Crucial environmental issues are no more a blame game. While most of us crib about dirty air, smelly garbage or polluted water, least do we know it is “us” who is responsible for these unfavourable circumstances leading to cautionary environmental issues.
Here are 10 significant current environmental issues, where human beings play an important role in its cause.
More than half of the human population knows what is pollution, but we are still not ready to face its damaging consequences. Pollution is not only limited to water, soil and noise but has extended to light, visual, point and non-point sources. Human beings and their actions are majorly responsible for causing all types of pollution. Water pollution is essentially caused by oil spills, urban runoff and ocean dumping. Air pollution rises from burning of fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing and gases emitted by vehicles. Water and soil pollution are majorly cause from industrial waste.
As much as 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year, endangering marine life and, if it enters the food chain, endangering humans too.
Now, an interactive map has revealed where the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic adrift in our oceans end up.
Densities of plastic are shown as white dots around the map, each of which represents 20 kilograms (44 lbs) of damaging ocean waste.
Here are 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution:
- In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
- Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
- We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce.
- The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
- Plastic accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste we generate.
- The production of plastic uses around eight percent of the world’s oil production (bioplastics are not a good solution as they require food source crops).
- Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year (source: Brita)
- Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
- Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
- 46 percent of plastics float (EPA 2006) and it can drift for years before eventually concentrating in the ocean gyres.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from the land.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
- Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
- One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals have killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
- 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.
- In samples collected in Lake Erie, 85 percent of the plastic particles were smaller than two-tenths of an inch, and much of that was microscopic. Researchers found 1,500 and 1.7 million of these particles per square mile.
- Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).
- Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical).
- Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.￼
2. Climate Change
Climate change today is less of a natural process. It is rapidly occurring due to the ill effects of human actions responsible for disturbing and harmful out comings such as global warming, greenhouse effect, urban heat, coal industry etc. Climate change is not only changing the overall weather scenario but has larger and harmful effects. Some of these include: melting of polar regions, an occurrence of new diseases and permanent inhibition in growth of certain plants essential for human survival.
3. Global Warming
Global warming is another environmental issue which is an increase in earth’s temperature due to the effect of greenhouse gases called carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour and other gases. These gases possess heat-trapping capacity that is needed to create greenhouse effect so that this planet remains warm for people to survive. Without these gases, this planet would turn be cold for life to exist.
During past several decades, the accumulation of greenhouse gases has grown rapidly, which means more heat gets trapped in the atmosphere and few of these gases escape back into space. These gases heat up the earth’s surface and this results in global warming. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports, the earth’s temperature has increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past century. Global warming is a serious public health and environmental concern. Global warming can have long-lasting effects which can result in melting of glaciers, climate change, droughts, diseases and increase in hurricane frequency.
With the population growing at a rapid pace, the demand for food, shelter and cloth has almost tripled in last few decades. To overcome growing demand, a direct action that we have come to recognize as “Deforestation” occurs. Deforestation means, clearing of forests or green cover for means of agriculture, industrial or urban use. It involves the permanent end of forest cover to make that land available for the residential, commercial or industrial purpose.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost each year. The long-term effects of deforestation can be severely devastating and alarming as they may cause floods, soil erosion, increase in global warming, climate imbalance, wildlife extinction and other serious environmental issues.
This is a never-ending human tragedy which is responsible for causing all types of environmental issues. Water pollution, resources crisis, gender imbalance, pollution, land pollution, urban sprawling, deforestation, overproduction are some common examples of dangerous effects caused by overpopulation.
While the facts of overpopulation are very challenging, remember: we can choose our future. Forecasts might lead you to believe that a population of 9,10, or even 11 billion is inevitable. But a dramatic and voluntary reduction in births starting now can begin to create a more positive and sustainable future for out planet.
World Population in 2018 reached 7.5 billion.
It has doubled in the past 45 years! Earth’s population is increasing by over 140 people every minute … equivalent to another Los Angeles plus another Chicago every month. Over the past few hundred years humanity’s growth in sheer numbers has been truly explosive!
- We are ravaging wildlife populations. The number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, less than half the size it was 50 years ago.1
- We are rapidly losing farmland. An area of cultivated land the size of Iowa and Wisconsin combined (75 million acres) is lost every year due to soil erosion and urban sprawl.2
- We are rapidly destroying forests. Between 2000 and 2012 the Earth average a net loss every year of forested land about the size of Ohio (over 30 million acres).3
- We are consuming non-renewable resources – fossil fuels, minerals, and metals – at an enormous rate. Over time, these resources are decreasing in quality and increasing in cost.
- We are depleting global groundwater over 3 times faster than rainfall can recharge aquifers.4 By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world population could be under water stress conditions.5
- We are causing soil salinization and erosion at rates much faster than rates of natural soil restoration.
- We are over-fishing, acidifying, and polluting our oceans.6
- We are rapidly disrupting the relatively stable climate that human civilization and all other species have experienced for thousands of years through our greenhouse gas emissions.
- We are creating massive amounts of waste and pollution. Each of us contributes to: 1) proliferation of ocean “dead zones” and dying coral reefs; 2) rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers filling with industrial and agricultural pollution; 3) soil contamination; and 4) destruction and fouling of other species’ habitats.
- We are increasing a wide range of social problems: resource conflicts and wars; refugee migration; overcrowding and traffic congestion; dilution of representative democracy; increasing bureaucratic complexity and loss of personal freedoms; higher food, energy, and housing costs; and rising youth unemployment…that continue to worsen as our numbers increase by more than 75 million people every year.
- Over 750 million people live on less than $2 a day.7
- Based on data from the Global Footprint Network, the Earth can generate renewable resources and absorb humanity’s wastes for only about 2 billion people at an average European’s level of consumption. It is important to understand that this analysis omits two tremendously important factors. It does not factor in the alarming depletion of all the non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels, metals, and minerals that make industrial civilization possible. Second, the footprint calculation does not set aside significant habitat for other species.
- If all countries followed the lead of countries with the lowest fertility rates – including Taiwan, Spain, Portugal, South Korea, and Poland – we could reach a global population of less than 4 billion by 2100!8
The solution we have to implement now
We must activate worldwide the one-child-policy.
1 – World Wildlife Fund. “Living Planet Report 2016”. Accessed February, 2017. wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/.
2 – UN Report to General Assembly, October 21, 2010. Accessed September 2015. un.org/press/en/2010/gashc3985.doc.htm.
3 – M.C. Hansen, P.V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S.A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S.V. Stehman, S.J. Goetz, T.R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C.O. Justice, and J.R.G. Townshend. “High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change”. Science 342, no. 6160 (2013): 850-853. Accessed October, 2015. sciencemag.org/content/342/6160/850.
4 – Tom Gleeson, Yoshihide Wada, Marc F.P. Bierkins, Ludovicus P.H. van Beek. “Water Balance of Global Aquifers Revealed by Groundwater Footprint”. Nature 488, (2012): 197-200. Accessed October 2015. nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7410/full/nature11295.html.
5 – “Water Scarcity”. United Nations. Accessed October, 2015. un.org/waterforlifedecade/scarcity.shtml.
6 – FAO. 2016. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016. Rome. 204 pp. Accessed February, 2017. fao.org/3/a-i5555e.pdf.
7 – “Poverty Overview”. World Bank. Accessed February, 2017. worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview.
8 – “Total Fertility Rates and Avoiding Catastrophe”. Eric Rimmer and Andrew Ferguson. Accessed February, 2017. populationmedia.org/2011/12/26/three-short-pieces-on-fertility/.
6. Industrial and Household Waste
At present, tons of garbage is produced by each household each year. Items that can be recycled are sent to local recycling unit while other items become a part of the landfills or sent to third world countries. Due to increase in demand for food, shelter and house, more goods are produced. This resulted in the creation of more waste that needs to be disposed of. Most waste is buried underground in landfill sites. The presence of huge landfills sites across the city poses serious environmental concerns. It affects human health, degrades soil quality, effects wildlife, cause air pollution and results in climate change.
7. Acid Rain
Acid rain simply means rain that is acidic in nature due to the presence of certain pollutants in the atmosphere. These pollutants come in the atmosphere due to the car or industrial processes. Acid rain can occur in form of rain, snow, fog or dry material that settle to earth. Acid rain may cause due to erupting volcanoes, rotting vegetation and sea sprays that produce sulphur dioxide and fires, bacterial decomposition and lightening generate nitrogen dioxide.
Acid rain can also be caused due to man-made sources which include combustion of fossil fuels which release sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. Acid rain can have devastating effects on aquatic life, forests, public health and architecture and buildings.
8. Ozone Layer Depletion
The ozone layer is a layer of gas that sits 25-30 km above earth’s surface. It mainly contains contain ozone which is a naturally occurring molecule containing three oxygen atoms. This layer is present in the stratosphere and prevents too many harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiation from entering the earth. The ozone layer is capable of absorbing 97-99% of the harmful ultraviolet radiation that is emitted by the sun.
However, during last several decades, human and industrial activity has contributed a lot which has resulted in considerable reduction in the ozone layer of the atmosphere. The main cause of depletion of ozone layer is determined as an excessive release of chlorine and bromine from man-made compounds such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), halons, CH3CCl3 (Methyl chloroform), CCl4 (Carbon tetrachloride), HCFCs (hydro-chlorofluorocarbons), hydrobromofluorocarbons and methyl bromide are found to have a direct impact on the depletion of the ozone layer.
9. Genetic Engineering
Genetic modification of food, human and animal organs seems like the gem of science and technology but this has major harmful effects. Biotechnology is an impressive technology but limiting is used is the need of the hour. Genetic engineering is a controversial subject and has seen more ill impacts than the benefits it brings to mankind. Genetic pollution and alteration of food products not only have harmful effects on human beings but are responsible for crucial concern known as ‘genetic modification’.
10. Urban Sprawl
Not only India and China are classic examples of overpopulation and urban sprawl leading to land degradation. Today almost all countries are using the land irresponsibly to meet the ever-growing demand of the greedy human wishes. The expansion of industrial areas has not only led to land degradation and soil pollution, but the habitat destruction is a terrible misery. The natural environment consisting of flora and fauna is indiscriminately destructed and lost completely instead of being replaced. This, in the long run, has a harmful impact on human survival and cause a serious environmental issue.
Damages to humans done by humans
Casualties World War I
The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was more than 41 million: there were over 18 million deaths and 23 million wounded, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
The total number of deaths includes about 11 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians. The Triple Entente (also known as the Allies) lost about 6 million military personnel while the Central Powers lost about 4 million. At least 2 million died from diseases and 6 million went missing, presumed dead. This article lists the casualties of the belligerent powers based on official published sources. About two-thirds of military deaths in World War I were in battle, unlike the conflicts that took place in the 19th century when the majority of deaths were due to disease. Nevertheless, disease, including the 1918 flu pandemic and deaths while held as prisoners of war, still caused about one third of total military deaths for all belligerents.
Casualties World War II
World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history in absolute terms of total casualties. Over 60 million people were killed, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion). World War II fatality statistics vary, with estimates of total deaths ranging from 50 million to more than 80 million. The higher figure of over 80 million includes deaths from war-related disease and famine. Civilians killed totalled 50 to 55 million, including 19 to 28 million from war-related disease and famine. Military deaths from all causes totalled 21 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war.
Recent historical scholarship has shed new light on the topic of Second World War casualties. Research in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union has caused a revision of estimates of Soviet WW2 fatalities. According to Russian government figures, USSR losses within postwar borders now stand at 26.6 million. including 8.5 million due to war related famine and disease. In August 2009 the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) researchers estimated Poland’s dead at between 5.6 and 5.8 million. Historian Rüdiger Overmans of the Military History Research Office (Germany) published a study in 2000 that estimated the German military dead and missing at 5.3 million, including 900,000 men conscripted from outside of Germany’s 1937 borders, in Austria, and in east-central Europe. The People’s Republic of China puts its war dead at 20 million, while the Japanese government puts its casualties due to the war at 3.1 million.
(Source: World Health Organisation Europe)
The 15 leading causes of death in Europe are:
1. Diseases of heart (heart disease)
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6. Alzheimer’s disease
7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
8. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
9. Influenza and pneumonia
10. Intentional self-harm (suicide)
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension)
14. Parkinson’s disease
15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids
Diseases of the circulatory system (ischaemic heart disease, stroke, etc.) are the most important cause of premature death (before the age of 65) in the Region, accounting for nearly 50% of the total.
Cancer is the second leading cause, accounting for nearly 20%, while injuries and poisoning are responsible for 9% of deaths.
With the ageing population, the risk of cancer is rising. Cancer is the main cause of premature death in 28 of the 53 countries in the Region and is predicted to further increase by 2020.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart diseases and stroke, account for one-third of deaths throughout the world, according to a new scientific study that examined every country over the past 25 years.
Countries with the greatest number of cardiovascular deaths, after accounting for population size, are found throughout Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Oceania. Additionally, the steep declines experienced by the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and countries in Western Europe over the past two decades have begun to taper off and plateau.
In 2015, there were more than 400 million individuals living with CVD and nearly 18 million CVD deaths worldwide. From 1990 to 2010, the age-standardized death rate from CVD dropped globally, driven by improvements in high-income countries, but that progress has slowed over the last five years. In 1990, there were about 393 deaths for every 100,000 people from CVD globally. That fell to 307 deaths per 100,000 in 2010, and, over the next five years, decreased only slightly, to 286 deaths per 100,000.
Prevalence rates of CVD, including coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease, were highest across sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern and Central Europe, and Central Asia. Some of the lowest rates occurred in high-income Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, and southern South American countries, including Chile and Argentina.
The highest CVD death rates occurred throughout Central Asia and Eastern Europe, but also in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and many South Pacific island nations. The lowest rates were in Japan, Andorra, Peru, France, Israel, and Spain.
Causes of death — standardised death rate, 2014 (per 100 000 inhabitants)
The highest prevalence rates for heart artery disease were found in Eastern Europe, followed by Central Asia and Central Europe, but high rates were also found in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East/North Africa region, and South Asia. Peripheral artery disease was the most prevalent CVD cardiovascular disease worldwide, even though much of it is estimated to be without symptoms.
Stroke was the second-leading cause of global health loss. In 2015, there were nearly 9 million first-time strokes. The prevalence rate of heart artery disease and stroke began increasing as early as age 40, showing that these are not only diseases of the elderly, but also impact younger individuals who are working or caring for the family.
Other cardiovascular conditions examined include hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, aortic aneurysm, atrial fibrillation, and rheumatic heart disease.
Almost every fourth person in the EU still experiences at least one of the three forms of poverty or social exclusion. Monetary poverty is the most widespread form of poverty, affecting 17.3 % of EU residents in 2015. Severe material deprivation and very low work intensity follow, affecting 8.1 % of the EU residents and 10.6 % of EU citizens aged 0 to 59, respectively. However, poverty and destitution are far worse if you move eastward or to the south of Europe.
Poverty is not just for one day
This means that the reality of poverty in the EU is much more a day-to-day struggle to live and survive which can adversely affect your health and psychological well-being and put stress on your personal relationships.
Living in poverty can mean:
becoming isolated from family and friends;
lacking hope and feeling powerless and excluded with little control over the decisions that affect your day to day life;
lacking information about the supports and services available to you;
having problems in getting your basic needs met and accessing decent housing, health services and schools and lifelong learning opportunities;
living in an unsafe neighbourhood with high levels of crime and violence and poor environmental conditions or in a remote and isolated rural area;
going without very basic necessities because you may not be able to afford essential utilities like water, heat and electricity or to buy healthy food or new clothing or to use public transport;
being unable to afford to buy medicines or visit the dentist;
living from day to day with no savings or reserves for times of crisis such as losing a job or falling ill and thus falling into debt;
being exploited and forced into illegal situations;
experiencing racism and discrimination;
being unable to participate in normal social and recreational life such as going to the pub or cinema or sports events or visiting friends or buying birthday presents for family members.
Overall, the reality of poverty in the EU is that it affects many aspects of people’s lives and limits people’s access to their fundamental rights. People affected often experience a range of different disadvantages which combine to reinforce each other and trap them in poverty. Poverty limits the opportunity for people to reach their full potential. For instance, children growing up in poverty are more likely to suffer poor health, do less well at school and become the next generation of adults at risk of unemployment and long-term poverty.
“I can afford only cheap food; fruit and vegetables to feed children are too expensive; fish is not affordable; healthy food is too expensive for me.”
“The problem is not that we run out of money occasionally. The real problem is that we live our entire lives this way and our children grow up into this too.”
“In Spain, the apartments for tourists are empty during the calm periods. On the other side, there are a lot of homeless who have no roof over their head. How can we explain those injustices to our children?”
“I cannot repair my broken TV.”
“I have lost friends as I cannot participate in their activities; even to participate in self-help groups needs money and time; I’m short of money and time to participate in discussions.”
“I cannot afford a daily paper; books, especially scientific literature is too expensive.
“The system is too complicated, I don’t know where to get what.”
“I have slept in cardboard boxes. I had the choice to die on the street or to take back my life into my own hands. I went to social services with the question to help me to find a house. I was confronted with an enormous bureaucracy. I had to tell several times my story, each time again and it took years before I got a house.”
“Every time I tell my life to civil servants I receive a lot of compassion, but rules prevent effective aid.”
“The way people look at you is humiliating. You are not considered a human being.”
“Sometimes you get the feeling that animals are better protected because if you beat a dog you will be sentenced and maybe put into prison whereas if you beat someone I am not sure that you will always be punished for that. My feeling is that dogs are more respected and better treated than Gypsies.”
“I don’t see any progress since years. I have no future.”
“I feel a little bit like Don Quixote. I am fighting against windmills here and there and there is no real hope anymore.”
“I have no work and no housing. How can I form my life if I have no work?”
“I must admit that to you that I work illegally and this is not because I think it is good. I am fully aware of the consequences, but this is the only way for me to get a job.”
“It is impossible for me to invite the friends of my children at home because my home is so small. So my children at their turn are not invited anymore. Thus they become also excluded. We are obliged to lead a hidden life.”
“My children cannot participate in school holidays for skiing or a language week abroad. Training for lifelong learning is not affordable.
I cannot afford cultural activities.”
“My children will inherit my poverty.”
(Source: OECD report from 2017)
Income inequality was generally lower one generation ago. In European countries, the Gini coefficient increased on average from 0.28 in the 1980s to 0.30 in 2014. Inequality increased not only in countries with highly unequal incomes – such as the United States and the United Kingdom – but also in traditionally more egalitarian countries, such as Sweden and Finland. In most European countries the increases occurred later than in the United States or the United Kingdom, namely during the
1990s. That said, inequality remained stable or even fell in some countries; for example Belgium, France, Greece (until the crisis) and the Netherlands.
Income inequality remains at an all-time high. In the 1980s, the average income of the richest 10% was seven times higher than that of the poorest 10%; today, it is around 9 ½ times higher. The economic recovery has not reversed the long-term trend towards increasing income inequality.
Unequal distribution of wealth surpasses that of income. The 10 % of wealthiest households hold 50% of total wealth; the 40 % least wealthy own little over 3 %.
High levels of debt expose households to sizeable risks in the event of sudden changes in asset prices. In the OECD area, half of the households have debts, and one-tenth is over-indebted.
The post-crisis job gaps are closing on average in Europe, but there are still 1.4 million fewer jobs in the EU in 2015 compared with 2007.
Major inequalities remain across countries in terms of overall employment, with unemployment rates reaching 24% in Greece versus 4% in Iceland. Inequalities in terms of the type of job such the share of part-time or temporary employees are also large in Europe.
Gender gaps in employment and earnings have declined in most countries in the EU, but at 9.8% and 12.8% respectively they persist – and women are still disadvantaged in terms of the type of jobs and occupation they hold.
Low-skilled youth who are disconnected from both employment and learning represent 17% of 15-29 year-olds in the EU, and risk being permanently left behind in the labour market.
There is a gap in education outcomes among individuals with different parental socioeconomic backgrounds. A child from an advantaged socio-economic background will score on average 20% higher in mathematics than a child from a disadvantaged background.
There are close links between socio-economic backgrounds and education and health outcomes. Men with lower levels of education have 2.7 years less life expectancy than the better educated, and women, 1.2 years.
Immigrants tend to have lower outcomes in terms of the labour market or incomes than the native-born in most areas; 36% are low educated, against 25% of native-born; 64.8% are in employment, as opposed to 66.3% of the native-born. Those in employment are twice as likely as their native-born peers to live below the poverty line.
Native-born children of immigrants raised and educated in the host country are facing persistent disadvantages compared with children with native-born parents. In the EU, the youth unemployment rate among native-born immigrant offspring is almost 50% higher than among the young with native-born parents. In non-EU OECD countries, the rates of the two groups are similar.