These brief excerpts from a longer report by the environmental organization Greenpeace highlight the ecological collapse that was taking place all across Eastern Europe by the early 1980s. As extreme as the Polish case sounds, it was unfortunately typical rather than exceptional. All across the region, life expectancies were dropping rapidly, especially for men who were exposed to industrial….
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Yugoslavia: 1980 vs. 1989
(All figures in 1972 US Dollars)
This table shows two developments in the former Yugoslavia. The first is the decline in the Yugoslav economy during the 1980s. Much of the world experienced an economic recession in the early 1980s, but in Western Europe, North America, and especially Asia (including Communist….
One of the many ways historians, economists, and other social scientists measure the health of a state’s economy is by examining changes in macroeconomic indicators over time. This chart shows changes in four of those measures—the gross domestic product (GDP), the rate of personal consumption, the gross rate of investment by the state in the economy, and the wages of workers—in….
This graph shows two trends in the Czech population (first in Czechoslovakia and after 1993 in the Czech Republic)—changes in fertility rates (births per women aged 15-49) and the abortion rate in this same population. This fairly simple graph offers a number of insights into the experiences of Czech women both during and after Communism. For instance, we see births per woman declining from a….
One of the most important indicators of a societies transition to what economists often call “modern industrial society” is a decline in infant mortality rates. As you might imagine, declines in infant mortality rates are also very important to individual citizens, because it means that their children are much more likely to live to adulthood. This rate reflects the number of children who….
The recession of the early 1980s caused significant disruptions in the economies of all European states, whether Communist (above the double line) or non-Communist. The data in this table show how even in West Germany, from 1980 to 1985 gross national product per capita decline across Europe. However, by 1986 the recession in Western Europe had largely ended, much of Eastern Europe was much….