What does "those" refer to?

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Wookie

Senior Member
Korea, Korean
Lack of access to primary healthcare most affects rural populations in poor states, or those which have recently seen armed conflict, natural disasters or epidemics that have overwhelmed healthcare infrastructures. These populations depend on emergency medical assistance, which usually needs to be maintained over time.

This is from an article about emergency relief and access to healthcare.

I'd like to know what "those" refers to. Does it refer to "rural populations" or "states"?
 
  • marget

    Senior Member
    Lack of access to primary healthcare most affects rural populations in poor states, or those which have recently seen armed conflict, natural disasters or epidemics that have overwhelmed healthcare infrastructures. These populations depend on emergency medical assistance, which usually needs to be maintained over time.

    This is from an article about emergency relief and access to healthcare.

    I'd like to know what "those" refers to. Does it refer to "rural populations" or "states"?
    I think it refers to populations since the word was repeated in the following sentence.
     
    Last edited:

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    "or those (people) which have recently seen armed conflict," The word "people" is understood here. "Which" should, in my humble opinion, read "who." I do not consider this passage especially well written.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I agree with marget - those refers to populations. The second sentence begins "These populations ..."

    That being the case, I think "which" is appropriate.
     
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