Worldwide Life Expectancy Rates Grow With Japanese Women Living Longest

A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) says that life expectancies around the world are growing. One of the largest growth rates has been in Canada. People born in 2012 are expected to live six years longer than those born in 1990. The new life expectancy for males born in 2012 is 80 and for same birth-year females, the statistics show 84. That compared to 74 for males and 81 for females born in 1990.

The highest rise in life expectancy rates has come from low-income countries, averaging an additional nine years from 1990 to 2012. World Health Organization director general, Dr. Margaret Chan, says that much of this improvement is due to fewer children dying before their fifth birthday. She says the declines translate into 17,000 fewer children dying each day in 2012 than in 1990.

However, Dr. Chan notes that, “Nevertheless, nearly 18,000 children worldwide died every day in 2012, and the global speed of decline in mortality rate remains insufficient to reach the target of a two-thirds reduction in the 1990 levels of mortality by the year 2015.”

The distinct divide between people living in low-income countries and those living in high-income countries persists as, according to WHO, the largest factor being those in high-income countries suffering fewer deaths due to stroke and heart disease before age 60.

The top three countries for life expectancy in 2012 were:

Iceland, 81.2.

Switzerland 80.7.

Australia     80.5

For women, the top countries were:

Japan 87.0.

Spain 85.1.

Switzerland 85.1

In sub-Saharan African countries including Ivory Coast, Angola, chad, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Angola, Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Mozambique, life expectancy rates for both men and women remain under 55.  WHO estimates that only one-third of all worldwide deaths are recorded in civil registries.

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