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Poor state (~300USD per capita income) has achieved an average 70 year life expectancy, 100% literacy rate, 82/1000/y birth rate. How does this work?

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    Nitpick:

    According to the article, the birth rate in Kerala is is 18/1000/y, not 82.

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      Re: Life expectancy (posting this before having read the article):

      Consider this table of life expectancy data in the various Soviet republics in 1985-86 (taken from this paper).

      The Soviet Union average is 64.2m/72.3f. For the RSFSR (Russia), it’s 63.8m/74.0f. For Armenia, it’s 70.5m/75.7f. (Compare: for the U.S. in 1989 it was 71.8m/78.8f.)

      Is Kerala climatically, culturally, or genetically different from other Indian states?

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        It looks like the answer is “yes”. Now let’s see what explanations the article gives us…

        Edit: Read the article now. Hmmm. That is certainly a very… different… explanation.

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        Also probably relevant (from wikipedia):

        Kerala has the lowest positive population growth rate in India, 3.44%; the highest Human Development Index (HDI), 0.712 in 2015; the highest literacy rate, 93.91% in the 2011 census; the highest life expectancy, 77 years; and the highest sex ratio, 1,084 women per 1,000 men. The state has witnessed significant emigration, especially to Arab states of the Persian Gulf during the Gulf Boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, and its economy depends significantly on remittances from a large Malayali expatriate community.

        [emphasis mine]

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