November 29, 2022

Number of 17-19-year-olds in the UK with a probable mental health disorder is up; Would-be home owners are kept out of the market in Australia

Number of 17-19-year-olds in the UK with a probable mental health disorder is up; Would-be home owners are kept out of the market in Australia

Today’s global news summary brings news from the UK, Australia, and the world and discusses issues as diverse as mental health, homeownership, and air pollution. 

Number of 17-19-year-olds in the UK with a probable mental health disorder is up
Demography, family, and gender
An NHS Digital report shows that one in four 17- to 19-year-olds in England had a probable mental disorder in 2022. The BBC reports that these statistics are up from one in six in 2021. The findings include the views and experiences of over 2,800 young people over the age of six, who have been followed up since 2017. Mind, a mental health charity in England and Wales, commented that the UK government “will be failing an entire generation unless it prioritises investment in young people's mental-health services”. Separate figures from the NHS also show that the number of under-18s who have contacted NHS mental health services in England rose by nearly 30% in the last year.

Richard Layard has found that one in five people suffer from a mental illness. “Mental illness accounts for half of all illness up to age 45 in rich countries, making it the most prevalent disease among working-age people,” he writes in his article.

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Would-be home owners are kept out of the market in Australia
Education and human capital
The annual report from SGS Economics and Planning and National Shelter has found that renting has become less affordable in all Australian cities this year compared to 2021. “Right now, the quest to find somewhere to live can be a soul-shattering experience,” ABC News reports. “[E]xperts say the opening of the borders post-COVID has meant a renewed influx of students and migrants into the country, putting extra pressure on a limited supply of rental properties,” the article adds.

In his article Stephen Whelan gives the US as an example that: “Housing assistance measures have been reoriented toward “tenant-based” assistance, which can be used to offset the cost of rent in the private rental market in neighborhoods with lower poverty rates.”

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Close to a million stillbirths a year can be attributed to air pollution
Education and human capital | Demography, family, and gender
A new global study has found that almost half of stillbirths per year can be linked to exposure to air pollution. The results cover 137 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where 98% of stillbirths occur. “Dirty air was already known to increase the risk of stillbirth but this research is the first to assess the number of foetal deaths. The work was based on data from more than 45,000 stillbirths and live births,” The Guardian reports. “Clean air policies, which have been enacted in some countries, such as China, can prevent stillbirths,” the scientists, led by Dr Tao Xue at Peking University, added.

Sefi Roth has researched the impact of exposure to elevated levels of air pollution. In his article he writes that “recent empirical evidence implies that air pollution imposes higher costs on society, because it adversely affects scholastic achievement and human capital formation, in addition to human health.”

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