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Health > Life expectancy > Life expectancy at birth > Total: Countries Compared

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Author: chris.lockyer781

Life expectancy at birth reflects the number of years a newborn is expected to live, if the health and living conditions remained constant through time. It is an indicator of a country’s mortality conditions across all age groups. It is also a measure of a country’s health status as well as the quality of its health care system.

Life expectancy has risen globally and is still expected to increase over the next few decades. Since the 1950s, the average life expectancy has gone up by 20 years. As of 2011, the average life expectancy at birth worldwide is 70 years. This increase is attributed to mainly to improvements in primary health care. For instance, immunization has prevented up to 5.9 million deaths per year.

In developing countries, poverty, lack of education and prevalence of infectious diseases decrease life expectancy. Civil strife in some regions is also a contributory factor. Sub Saharan Africa has the lowest life expectancy worldwide, with an average of 53 years. This region has the highest prevalence of HIV, with 5.6 million or 11% of the total population infected.

In high income countries, the average life expectancy is 80 years while in lower income countries, it is estimated at 60 years. In developing countries, declining fertility and birth rates combined with increased life expectancy has resulted to an aging population.

In developed countries, women have higher life expectancy than men by about 7 years. This has, however, shown a decreasing trend. Women in Japan have the highest life expectancy in the world at 85 years. The gender gap is noted to be smaller in developing countries at 3 years, but is continually growing.

In developed countries, the centenarian population increases by 5.5% annually. Japan has 347 centenarians per 1 million population. The United States has 232 per million.

Citations:

1) World Health Organization: Life expectancy. http://www.who.int/gho/mortalityburdendisease/lifetables/situationtrends_text/en/

2) Earth Policy Institutes. Troubling health trends holding back progress on life expectancy. Nov 2011. http://www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2011/highlights21

3) Ehreth J. The global value of vaccination. Vaccine 2003:21;596-600.

4) World Population Ageing 1950-2050. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldageing19502050/pdf/8chapteri.pdf

DEFINITION: Life expectancy measures how long on average people would live based on a given set of age-specific death rates. However, the actual age-specific death rates of any particular birth cohort cannot be known in advance. If age-specific death rates are falling (as has been the case over the past decades in OECD countries), actual life spans will be higher than life expectancy calculated with current death rates.

CONTENTS

# COUNTRY AMOUNT DATE GRAPH
1 Japan 82.4 Number of years 2009
2 Switzerland 81.7 Number of years 2009
3 Iceland 81.2 Number of years 2009
=4 Australia 81.1 Number of years 2009
=4 Spain 81.1 Number of years 2009
=6 Italy 80.9 Number of years 2009
=6 France 80.9 Number of years 2009
8 Sweden 80.8 Number of years 2009
9 Norway 80.6 Number of years 2009
10 Canada 80.4 Number of years 2009
11 New Zealand 80.2 Number of years 2009
Group of 7 countries (G7) average (profile) 80.19 Number of years 2009
12 Austria 79.9 Number of years 2009
=13 Netherlands 79.8 Number of years 2009
=13 Germany 79.8 Number of years 2009
15 Ireland 79.7 Number of years 2009
16 Greece 79.6 Number of years 2009
High income OECD countries average (profile) 79.56 Number of years 2009
=17 Finland 79.5 Number of years 2009
=17 Belgium 79.5 Number of years 2009
19 Luxembourg 79.4 Number of years 2009
=20 United Kingdom 79.1 Number of years 2009
=20 South Korea 79.1 Number of years 2009
22 Portugal 78.9 Number of years 2009
23 Denmark 78.4 Number of years 2009
24 United States 77.8 Number of years 2009
25 Czech Republic 76.7 Number of years 2009
26 Mexico 75.7 Number of years 2009
27 Poland 75.3 Number of years 2009
28 Slovakia 74.3 Number of years 2009
29 Hungary 73.2 Number of years 2009
30 Turkey 71.6 Number of years 2009

Citation

"Countries Compared by Health > Life expectancy > Life expectancy at birth > Total. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", OECD Country statistical profiles 2009. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Health/Life-expectancy/Life-expectancy-at-birth/Total

Health > Life expectancy > Life expectancy at birth > Total: Countries Compared Map

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Life expectancy at birth reflects the number of years a newborn is expected to live, if the health and living conditions remained constant through time. It is an indicator of a country’s mortality conditions across all age groups. It is also a measure of a country’s health status as well as the quality of its health care system.

Life expectancy has risen globally and is still expected to increase over the next few decades. Since the 1950s, the average life expectancy has gone up by 20 years. As of 2011, the average life expectancy at birth worldwide is 70 years. This increase is attributed to mainly to improvements in primary health care. For instance, immunization has prevented up to 5.9 million deaths per year.

In developing countries, poverty, lack of education and prevalence of infectious diseases decrease life expectancy. Civil strife in some regions is also a contributory factor. Sub Saharan Africa has the lowest life expectancy worldwide, with an average of 53 years. This region has the highest prevalence of HIV, with 5.6 million or 11% of the total population infected.

In high income countries, the average life expectancy is 80 years while in lower income countries, it is estimated at 60 years. In developing countries, declining fertility and birth rates combined with increased life expectancy has resulted to an aging population.

In developed countries, women have higher life expectancy than men by about 7 years. This has, however, shown a decreasing trend. Women in Japan have the highest life expectancy in the world at 85 years. The gender gap is noted to be smaller in developing countries at 3 years, but is continually growing.

In developed countries, the centenarian population increases by 5.5% annually. Japan has 347 centenarians per 1 million population. The United States has 232 per million.

Citations:

1) World Health Organization: Life expectancy. http://www.who.int/gho/mortalityburdendisease/lifetables/situationtrends_text/en/

2) Earth Policy Institutes. Troubling health trends holding back progress on life expectancy. Nov 2011. http://www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2011/highlights21

3) Ehreth J. The global value of vaccination. Vaccine 2003:21;596-600.

4) World Population Ageing 1950-2050. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldageing19502050/pdf/8chapteri.pdf

Posted on 09 Apr 2014

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