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It seems that your question consists of two questions:

Q1. Is the language of The Economist artificially complex? 
Q2. Are any native speakers with a bachelor degree able to follow the Economist as smooth as Wikipedia articles?

Regarding Q1: To be precise, we would first have to understand what you mean by "artificially". If you mean "made more complex than necessary on purpose", then we need to wait for a writer or editor of the Economist to log on, because everyone else can only speculate about their intentions.

Regarding Q2: I am a non-native speaker, so I cannot answer that exact question from personal experience. I can report that I am friends with native speakers who seem to have no issue with reading the Economist. Personally, I read a lot of Wikipedia articles on math and I often find reading the Economist more accessible than those Wikipedia articles. In general, I would say that I enjoy reading the Economist more than I enjoy reading Wikipedia, because the writing style gives it a bit more of a "story-telling" feel than the "listing the facts" style of Wikipedia articles.

It seems that your question consists of two questions:

Q1. Is the language of The Economist artificially complex? Q2. Are any native speakers with a bachelor degree able to follow the Economist as smooth as Wikipedia articles?

Regarding Q1: To be precise, we would first have to understand what you mean by "artificially". If you mean "made more complex than necessary on purpose", then we need to wait for a writer or editor of the Economist to log on, because everyone else can only speculate about their intentions.

Regarding Q2: I am a non-native speaker, so I cannot answer that exact question from personal experience. I can report that I am friends with native speakers who seem to have no issue with reading the Economist. Personally, I read a lot of Wikipedia articles on math and I often find reading the Economist more accessible than those Wikipedia articles. In general, I would say that I enjoy reading the Economist more than I enjoy reading Wikipedia, because the writing style gives it a bit more of a "story-telling" feel than the "listing the facts" style of Wikipedia articles.

It seems that your question consists of two questions:

Q1. Is the language of The Economist artificially complex? 
Q2. Are any native speakers with a bachelor degree able to follow the Economist as smooth as Wikipedia articles?

Regarding Q1: To be precise, we would first have to understand what you mean by "artificially". If you mean "made more complex than necessary on purpose", then we need to wait for a writer or editor of the Economist to log on, because everyone else can only speculate about their intentions.

Regarding Q2: I am a non-native speaker, so I cannot answer that exact question from personal experience. I can report that I am friends with native speakers who seem to have no issue with reading the Economist. Personally, I read a lot of Wikipedia articles on math and I often find reading the Economist more accessible than those Wikipedia articles. In general, I would say that I enjoy reading the Economist more than I enjoy reading Wikipedia, because the writing style gives it a bit more of a "story-telling" feel than the "listing the facts" style of Wikipedia articles.

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It seems that your question consists of two questions:

Q1. Is the language of The Economist artificially complex? Q2. Are any native speakers with a bachelor degree able to follow the Economist as smooth as Wikipedia articles?

Regarding Q1: To be precise, we would first have to understand what you mean by "artificially". If you mean "made more complex than necessary on purpose", then we need to wait for a writer or editor of the Economist to log on, because everyone else can only speculate about their intentions.

Regarding Q2: I am a non-native speaker, so I cannot answer that exact question from personal experience. I can report that I am friends with native speakers who seem to have no issue with reading the Economist. Personally, I read a lot of Wikipedia articles on math and I often find reading the Economist more accessible than those Wikipedia articles. In general, I would say that I enjoy reading the Economist more than I enjoy reading Wikipedia, because the writing style gives it a bit more of a "story-telling" feel than the "listing the facts" style of Wikipedia articles.