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韩国不平等悖论:健康长寿却生活贫困(上)

2017-08-22    来源:取经号JTW    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

一支国际科学家团队预计,2030年出生的韩国女性平均寿命将达到90岁。然而,根据经济合作与发展组织数据,有近一半65岁以上的韩国国民仍处于相对贫困状态。尽管韩国有较好的医疗保障,但其他方面的保障却不足,这使得预期寿命增加的同时,近半老年人生活处于较低水平。

South Korea’s inequality paradox: long life, good health and poverty

韩国不平等悖论:健康长寿却生活贫困

How is it possible that a country responsible for impressive gains in healthcare and nutrition finds itself with nearly half its older citizens living in relative poverty?
一个国家,它的医疗体系和营养状况有了明显改善,但是却有近一半的老年人仍处于相对贫困状态,这怎么可能呢?

Earlier this year, an international team of scientists made the stunning prediction that women in South Korea born in 2030 can expect to live, on average, until they are 90, taking them past Japan to the summit of the global longevity table.
今年早些时候,一支国际科学家团队作出令人震惊的预计,即2030年出生的韩国女性平均寿命将达到90岁,使其超过日本直接成为全球寿命表的峰值。

The study, published in the Lancet, marked the first time average lifespans for men or women anywhere in the world have exceeded nine decades.
该研究发表于医学期刊《柳叶刀》,标志着全球人类平均寿命首次超过90岁。

South Koreans, it forecast, will experience the biggest rise in life expectancy in the industrialised world, with women adding 6.6 years to their average lifespan by 2030 compared with 2010. The prognosis was similarly encouraging for South Korean men, who will edge ahead of other nations with a life expectancy of 84.
韩国方面预测将迎来工业化世界预期寿命的最大增长幅度,与2010年相比,到2030年,女性的平均寿命将增加6.6年。对于韩国男性而言,预测结果同样激励人心。韩国男性的预期寿命将领先其他国家,达到84岁。

lifespan1
The findings underlined South Korea’s emergence from the ashes of the 1950-53 Korean war and its transformation into a successful exporter of everything from consumer electronics and smartphones to  kimchi  and  K-Pop.
研究结果强调,韩国从1950年至1953年的朝鲜战争灰烬中崛起,转型成为成功的出口大国。其出口产品从消费性电子产品,智能手机到泡菜,韩国流行音乐,不一而足。

But the report also exposed a paradox. While South Korea’s soaring rise in life expectancy is expected to continue, almost half of its citizens aged over 65 now live in relative poverty, according to OECD data.
但该报告也揭露了一种悖论。经济合作与发展组织数据显示,韩国的预期寿命有望持续激增,但有近一半65岁以上的国民仍处于相对贫困状态。

The survey found that 48.6% of South Korea’s elderly were in poverty (defined as earning 50% or less of median household income) in 2011, the highest level among the 34 OECD countries.
调查报告发现,2011年,有48.6%的韩国老年人处于贫困中(收入小于或等于家庭收入中位数的50%则为贫困),这在34个经合组织成员国中是最高水平。

About a quarter of them live alone, and high levels of isolation and depression have led to a dramatic rise in elderly suicide, from 34 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 72 in 2010. Anecdotal evidence suggests many decide to take their own lives to avoid becoming a burden to their families.
在这些老年人中,约有四分之一独居,孤立和抑郁的高发已使老人自杀率急剧增加,从2000年的0.34‰上升至2010年的0.72‰。据坊间传闻,有许多老年人决定自杀以避免成为家庭负担。

“Life expectancy here has grown faster than in any other country in the world,” says Shin Kwang-yeong, a professor of sociology at Chung-Ang University in Seoul. “But the speed of ageing has been so fast that the majority of elderly people here now live in relative poverty.”
“韩国的预期寿命增长得比其他国家都快,”首尔中央大学的社会学教授申光龙说道,“但老龄化的速度过快,使得大部分老年人如今生活在贫困中。”

No savings and no family support
没有存款,没有家庭支持

At Tapgol Park in Seoul, dozens of people form a line to receive free lunches at a facility run by a Buddhist temple. Above the entrance is a sign that reads: “You are our hope.”
在首尔塔古公园,几十个人排成一队在佛寺管理的场所领取免费午餐。入口上方的标语写着:“你是我们的希望。”

The cafeteria, which is open all year round, used to serve about 140 people a day, but the number has risen recently to more than 200, says Kang So-yoon, a volunteer.
这家自助餐厅全年开放,过去一天接待140人左右,但最近接待人数已超过200人,志愿者康昭允说道。

“The main reason is because the economy is in bad shape and older people are struggling to find work,” she says. “For some, this is the only meal they will have all day. If they don’t have children to look after them, we are all they have. They’d have to beg on the street otherwise.”
“主要原因在于经济态势不好,老年人很难找到工作,”她说道,“对于一些人而言,这是他们一天中唯一的一顿饭。如果没有子女照顾他们,我们就是照顾他们的人。否则他们就要在街上乞讨了。”

Ironically, part of the reason for their plight may be the cost of supporting their own offspring.
“While they were still working,” says Shin, “many elderly people were unable to put aside enough savings for later in life because they spent too much on their children’s education.”
令人感到讽刺的是,造成他们这种困境的原因之一可能是抚养子女的开销。“尽管他们一直在工作,”申教授说,“但许多老年人无法为日后生活留有足够的储蓄,因为他们花了太多钱为子女供书教学。”

A woman in her late 70s says she can’t afford to feed herself on her pension. “I come here for free meals,” says the woman, who declines to give her name. “My children can’t help me because they are struggling financially themselves. I don’t want much, but a bit more money every month would be a great help.”
一位快八十岁的老妇人表示,她无法靠养老金维持生计。“我来这里是为了免费食物,”这位拒绝透露姓名的妇人说,“我的孩子帮不了我,因为他们也在艰难维持生计。我想要的不多,每月的一点钱也能帮很大的忙。”


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