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"OH WATERS, TEEM WITH MEDICINE TO KEEP MY BODY SAFE FROM HARM, SO THAT I MAY LONG SEE THE SUN." - Rig Veda
"While we are all having a bun fight about class, Mr Willetts, head down, has been tapping away on his PC. And his idea is that we have been missing the big picture. Class matters, but demographics and generational shifts matter even more. That was the point of his Mirror Top 100 calculation — to show that our culture, economy and politics are shaped by the age profile of the population.
He gives many fascinating examples, but here’s my favourite. Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Congo and Somalia have in common that they are teenage countries — they all have a median age of 19 years or younger. The UK’s median age is 42.5. This is one important reason why Britain is stable and Yemen isn’t. But Mr Willetts points out that our teenagers are very concentrated. Some housing estates have ended up with three children to every two adults — six times the national average. So while we look for the origin of the problems in tough estates by studying the benefits system or even the architecture, we may be missing the most important contributor — age composition."