Vital Caspian Graphics - Challenges Beyond Caviar
Population and Health: The combination of high levels of pollution and a deteriorating public health system causes concern for the health of many living around the Caspian Sea. Socio-political and economic changes in the former Soviet countries are largely to blame.
Apart from two large urban areas – Baku-Sumgait and Makhachkala- Kaspiisk – and the Iranian coast on the southern shore, a very densely populated coastal strip where one agglomeration leads into the next, most of the population living on the shores of the Caspian is rural, with strong religious and family traditions activelymaintained. It is consequently not surprising that several countries and provinces – Iran, Daghestan, Turkmenistan and parts of Azerbaijan – still en- joy very high population growth rates (in excess of 10 per 1,000). Even if over the last two decades, or perhaps longer, the fertility rate has dropped significantly, the au- thorities nevertheless have to cope with all the health, education and employment problems associated with a rapidly rising, youthful population.
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