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Quiz: Which has the highest death rate: Germany, Iraq, or Kenya?

Quiz: Which has the highest death rate: Germany, Iraq, or Kenya?

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you’re missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I’d like to highlight this week is:

Which of these three countries has the highest annual death rate?

a) Germany    b) Iraq    c) Kenya

(The photo above is of half-buried headstones at Arlington National Cemetery during last month’s D.C.-area "snowpocalypse.")

Answer after the jump …

Answer:

A, Germany. People often associate high death rates with war or poverty, but a country’s annual death rate — the number who die per 1,000 people — relates significantly to its population’s age structure. As countries become wealthier, birthrates fall, resulting in a higher proportion of elderly people and thus a higher death rate. In Germany, 20 percent of people are at least 65, and the death rate is 10.9 per 1,000. In contrast, only 3 percent of Iraqis are 65 or older, and Iraq’s death rate is 5.03 per 1,000 (less than half of Germany’s),according to the CIA’s World Factbook.

And for more questions about how the world works, check out the rest of the FP Quiz.