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Life expectancy

Life expectancy

The average life expectancy of a country usually draws a conclusion about medical and hygiene standards.

The oldest people in the world can be 115 years and even older. Most of these records were set in the US, Japan and a few European countries. The usual retirement period is often no more than 10-15 years. The following comparison shows that it can be quite different in other countries.

Remarkable: The most expensive microstates are again on top of this ranking.

Ranking by country
Worldwide development
Differentiation by region

Life expectancy for men and women

A male child born in the United States today will live to be 74.5 years old on average. This puts the male citizens of the US in 46th place in this ranking. On average, US women are 5.7 years older, reaching an age of 80.2. The world average age of death is a few years lower at 69.8 years for men and 74.9 years for women. Within the European Union, these are 77.8 and 83.3 years respectively.

Birth rate and death rate are given in births/deaths per 1,000 inhabitants within one year. The table shows the official data from the year 2020. In some minor cases, no data for this year are known, so previously published data were used.

CountryLife expectancy malesLife expectancy femalesBirth rateDeath rate
Hong Kong *82.9 years88.0 years5.8 ‰6.8 ‰
Macao *82.6 years87.8 years10.1 ‰4.0 ‰
Iceland81.7 years84.5 years12.3 ‰6.3 ‰
Japan81.6 years87.7 years6.8 ‰11.1 ‰
Norway81.6 years84.9 years9.8 ‰7.5 ‰
Singapore81.5 years86.1 years8.5 ‰5.2 ‰
Australia81.2 years85.3 years11.5 ‰6.3 ‰
Switzerland81.1 years85.2 years9.9 ‰8.8 ‰
Malta80.8 years84.6 years8.6 ‰7.9 ‰
Sweden80.7 years84.2 years10.9 ‰9.5 ‰
Israel80.7 years84.8 years19.2 ‰5.3 ‰
South Korea80.5 years86.5 years5.3 ‰5.9 ‰
Ireland80.4 years84.1 years11.2 ‰6.4 ‰
New Zealand80.3 years83.9 years11.3 ‰6.4 ‰
Italy80.1 years84.7 years6.8 ‰12.6 ‰
Netherlands79.8 years83.1 years9.7 ‰9.7 ‰
Canada79.7 years83.9 years9.4 ‰8.1 ‰
Spain79.7 years85.1 years7.1 ‰10.4 ‰
Denmark79.6 years83.6 years10.4 ‰9.4 ‰
Finland79.4 years85.0 years8.4 ‰10.0 ‰
Luxembourg79.4 years84.2 years10.2 ‰7.3 ‰
France79.2 years85.3 years10.9 ‰9.9 ‰
United Kingdom79.0 years82.9 years10.2 ‰10.4 ‰
Austria78.9 years83.6 years9.4 ‰10.3 ‰
Maldives78.9 years81.3 years14.6 ‰3.0 ‰
Germany78.6 years83.4 years9.3 ‰11.9 ‰
Belgium78.6 years83.1 years9.9 ‰11.0 ‰
Greece78.6 years83.7 years7.9 ‰12.2 ‰
Bermuda *78.3 years86.0 years8.4 ‰8.8 ‰
Qatar78.2 years80.7 years10.9 ‰1.2 ‰
Bahrain78.2 years80.4 years12.6 ‰2.2 ‰
Portugal78.0 years84.1 years8.2 ‰12.0 ‰
United Arab Emirates77.5 years81.1 years10.6 ‰1.8 ‰
Costa Rica76.8 years81.9 years12.2 ‰5.6 ‰
Chile76.7 years82.0 years11.8 ‰7.2 ‰
Lebanon75.6 years79.9 years15.3 ‰6.3 ‰
Kuwait75.4 years80.0 years11.8 ‰3.3 ‰
China75.3 years81.1 years8.5 ‰7.1 ‰
Czechia75.3 years81.3 years10.3 ‰12.1 ‰
Cuba75.0 years80.2 years9.3 ‰10.2 ‰
Saudi Arabia75.0 years78.0 years18.2 ‰2.9 ‰
Thailand75.0 years83.7 years9.2 ‰7.3 ‰
Croatia74.7 years80.9 years8.9 ‰14.1 ‰
Uruguay74.7 years81.9 years10.3 ‰9.4 ‰
Albania74.6 years79.7 years10.3 ‰10.8 ‰
United States74.5 years80.2 years10.9 ‰10.3 ‰
Estonia74.2 years82.7 years9.9 ‰11.9 ‰
Bosnia and Herzegovina74.0 years78.4 years8.6 ‰14.1 ‰
Malaysia73.6 years78.5 years15.4 ‰5.3 ‰
Puerto Rico *73.6 years82.6 years5.6 ‰9.6 ‰
Slovakia73.5 years80.4 years10.4 ‰10.8 ‰
Panama73.5 years80.0 years17.9 ‰5.7 ‰
Oman73.3 years76.8 years18.8 ‰3.0 ‰
Montenegro73.2 years78.8 years11.4 ‰11.7 ‰
Algeria73.1 years75.9 years22.4 ‰5.4 ‰
Turkey72.8 years79.1 years15.0 ‰6.4 ‰
Brunei72.7 years77.0 years14.2 ‰5.0 ‰
Poland72.6 years80.8 years9.4 ‰12.6 ‰
Sri Lanka72.6 years80.1 years14.2 ‰7.1 ‰
Argentina72.5 years79.3 years14.1 ‰8.5 ‰
Hungary72.3 years79.1 years9.6 ‰14.5 ‰
Iran72.1 years77.8 years14.2 ‰5.6 ‰
Morocco71.8 years76.3 years17.9 ‰6.1 ‰
Colombia71.5 years78.1 years14.4 ‰6.6 ‰
Serbia71.4 years77.2 years8.9 ‰16.9 ‰
Latvia70.9 years80.1 years9.2 ‰15.2 ‰
Mauritius70.9 years77.7 years10.6 ‰8.7 ‰
Peru70.8 years76.8 years17.8 ‰7.3 ‰
North Korea70.8 years75.7 years13.3 ‰9.1 ‰
Vietnam70.8 years79.9 years15.4 ‰6.2 ‰
Brazil70.7 years77.4 years13.1 ‰7.4 ‰
Romania70.5 years78.4 years9.2 ‰15.4 ‰
Philippines70.2 years74.0 years22.0 ‰5.6 ‰
Bangladesh70.2 years74.0 years18.1 ‰5.8 ‰
Lithuania70.1 years80.0 years9.0 ‰15.6 ‰
Bulgaria69.9 years77.5 years8.5 ‰18.0 ‰
Jamaica69.8 years73.9 years11.8 ‰7.6 ‰
Belarus69.3 years79.4 years9.3 ‰13.0 ‰
Ecuador68.8 years76.1 years17.0 ‰7.5 ‰
Egypt68.7 years73.4 years23.1 ‰5.9 ‰
India68.6 years71.8 years16.6 ‰7.4 ‰
Cambodia68.0 years72.7 years19.8 ‰6.2 ‰
Uzbekistan67.9 years72.8 years24.6 ‰5.1 ‰
Georgia67.7 years77.9 years13.0 ‰14.0 ‰
Mongolia67.5 years77.0 years22.4 ‰5.5 ‰
Nepal67.3 years71.2 years20.6 ‰7.2 ‰
Kazakhstan67.1 years75.5 years22.8 ‰8.6 ‰
Armenia67.1 years77.0 years12.5 ‰12.8 ‰
Iraq67.0 years71.2 years27.7 ‰5.2 ‰
Timor-Leste66.8 years70.3 years25.3 ‰6.8 ‰
Indonesia66.7 years71.0 years16.6 ‰9.0 ‰
Venezuela66.7 years75.8 years16.2 ‰7.6 ‰
Laos66.5 years70.6 years22.4 ‰6.4 ‰
Russia66.5 years76.4 years9.8 ‰14.6 ‰
El Salvador66.4 years75.4 years16.2 ‰8.4 ‰
Ukraine66.4 years76.2 years7.8 ‰15.9 ‰
Mexico66.3 years74.3 years15.6 ‰9.3 ‰
Senegal65.6 years70.3 years33.0 ‰5.6 ‰
Tanzania64.4 years68.5 years36.7 ‰6.2 ‰
Pakistan63.9 years68.8 years28.0 ‰7.1 ‰
Myanmar63.8 years70.0 years17.4 ‰8.8 ‰
Sudan63.1 years68.2 years34.2 ‰6.7 ‰
Madagascar62.9 years67.6 years31.3 ‰6.8 ‰
Ethiopia62.5 years68.4 years32.8 ‰6.6 ‰
South Africa62.2 years68.0 years20.3 ‰9.4 ‰
Ghana61.9 years66.4 years28.0 ‰7.4 ‰
Yemen61.6 years67.9 years31.3 ‰6.5 ‰
Bolivia61.6 years67.8 years22.1 ‰9.3 ‰
Haiti61.1 years67.1 years23.9 ‰8.2 ‰
Niger60.5 years62.5 years45.6 ‰8.3 ‰
Kenya60.4 years65.1 years28.0 ‰7.5 ‰
Afghanistan59.9 years65.4 years36.1 ‰7.1 ‰
Cameroon59.1 years62.6 years35.5 ‰8.4 ‰
Equatorial Guinea58.8 years62.9 years31.2 ‰9.0 ‰
Zimbabwe58.1 years63.9 years31.0 ‰8.1 ‰
Ivory Coast57.9 years60.4 years34.2 ‰8.8 ‰
Congo (Dem. Republic)57.8 years61.7 years42.3 ‰9.5 ‰
Somalia54.0 years58.1 years44.0 ‰11.4 ‰
Central Africa52.6 years56.8 years42.2 ‰11.0 ‰
Nigeria52.5 years53.3 years37.5 ‰13.0 ‰
Chad51.2 years54.4 years43.8 ‰12.5 ‰

Development of life expectancy worldwide

In the years 1960 to 2020, life expectancy has increased perceptibly worldwide. Starting at 50.7 years, it increased for men by 19.1 years to 69.8 years. For women, life expectancy increased by 20.3 years from 54.6 up to an average of 74.9 years since 1960.

Development of life expectancy worldwide

Differentiation by region


Life expectancy in Africa

Male

Female
Northern Africa68.4672.98
Central Africa57.8061.85
Western Africa56.0758.04
Southern Africa61.6567.49
Eastern Africa61.3466.50

Life expectancy in America

Male

Female
Caribbean69.2275.53
South America70.7077.42
Central America67.2674.85
North America75.0480.58

Life expectancy in Asia

Male

Female
South Asia68.2171.88
Western Asia70.7776.10
Southeast Asia69.0574.58
East Asia75.9181.69
Central Asia67.2373.35

Life expectancy in Australia

Male

Female
Australia/New Zealand81.0585.07

Life expectancy in Europe

Male

Female
Western Europe79.0484.10
Southern Europe78.7583.85
Northern Europe78.9983.21
Eastern Europe68.3577.55

Life expectancy in Oceania

Male

Female
Polynesia74.1179.98
Melanesia64.3669.50
Micronesia68.0574.97


What is life expectancy?

Life expectancy indicates the expected age that is estimated for a human being at the time of birth. This number of years is determined mainly from the current mortality rates. However, since these data only take into account the past, additional estimates are included to determine the future age due to external influences. These can be environmental factors as well as developments in health care. The average life expectancy is therefore not a measured value, but a prognosis for the future.

As the life expentancy steadily increases in most countries, the currect average age of death is bit lower than the expected. Depending on the country, it is between two and five years lower.

Above all, life expectancy is a result of the living conditions of a person or a population group. Essential factors are medical care, balanced nutrition and drinking water supply. These factors are influenced significantly by political factors, which is why life expectancy often derives from a country's standard of living.

The difference between men and women

Life expectancy In the vast majority of countries, women are four to eight years older than men. According to many scientists, this is not a purely biological difference. Instead it is also attributed to different behaviors. According to this view, men are less careful about their bodies than women. In fact, smokers and alcohol consumers are more common among men. Also, physical stress with simultaneous aversions to medical treatment and health precautions are responsible for this. Indeed, there is also an additional genetic reason for women's longer lives.

Influence of the mortality rate of children

A significant impact on life expectancy is the mortality rate of children. Both in the Middle Ages, as well as in the developing countries today, the death rate of children at birth or in the first few years of life is disproportionately high. These factors are already included in the average life expectancy. If one subtracts the proportion of children already deceased after the first years of living, the "average" is maintained, but the life expectancy of the rest increases.

* Dependent territories

The following countries are not sovereign states, but dependent territories or areas of other states:
  • Bermuda: self-governing territory of the UK
  • Hong Kong: special administrative region of China
  • Macao: special administrative region of China
  • Puerto Rico: unincorporated territory of the US
Further information on the definition of a country can be found in our article, What is a country?
Comparison: average ageAverage age by countryRising average age worldwide: since 1950 alone, more than 4 years. A list by country.
Comparison: quality of lifeQuality of life in country comparisonCompare the quality of life around the globe: In which countries is life pleasant, safe and healthy?
Population growth by countryComparison: Population growth by countryPopulation development since 1960 in global comparison