Life Expectancy by Country 2020

Life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality level of a population. It is the average period that a person may expect to live.

Significant factors in life expectancy include gender, genetics, hygiene, diet and exercise, access to quality healthcare, lifestyle and culture, and crime rates. Studies indicate that longevity is based on two major factors: genetics and lifestyle choices. Given this, countries around the world have varying life expectancies.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current global life expectancy in 2016 was 72.0 years, 74.2 years for females and 69.8 years for males. The life expectancies by region ranged from 61.2 years in the WHO African Region to 77.5 years in the WHO European Region. Between 2000 and 2016, the average life expectancy increased by 5.5 years. The WHO African Region saw its largest increase in life expectancy during that period of 10.3 years as a result of improvements in child survival and expanded access to antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS.

Countries with the Highest Life Expectancies

1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong has the highest life expectancy in the world. The average life expectancy for females in Hong Kong is 87.8 years and 82 for males. After World War II, Hong Kong saw rapid economic development and has seen a steady increase in the life expectancy of its people. Hong Kong has some of the best youth involvement in education and employment, the lowest infant mortality rate in the world, and high-quality child health care. This is despite Hong Kong spending less than on both health and social care as a proportion of GDP than other countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

2. Japan

Japan has the second-highest life expectancy of 84.67 years. This is about 87.7 years for females and 81.5 years for males. According to a 2016 study, Japan’s high life expectancy is largely attributed to diet. The Japanese have diets with lots of fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, and grain-based foods. Additionally, the Japanese government’s investment in public health over 50 years ago, which resulted in childhood vaccination programs and the introduction of universal health insurance, has also been credited for the high life expectancy. Japanese citizens also remain very active, even into their elderly years.

3. Macau

Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China, has the third-highest life expectancy of 84.396 years. Males born in Macau can expect to live for about 81.3 and women can expect to live for about 87.2 years. Macau’s high life expectancy is contributed to its clean environment and air, great education, easy access to health care, and strong economy.

4. Switzerland

The first European country on the list, Switzerland’s average life expectancy is 83.836 years. Women are expected to live about 85.6 years and men are expected to live about 81.9 years. The life expectancy in Switzerland is almost double what it was at the beginning of the 20th century. Some studies point to three main secrets of the country’s high life expectancy: wealth, a sense of well-being, and diet, which consists of lots of dairy products, including cheese.

5. Singapore

Singapore has the fifth-highest life expectancy of 83.662 years. Unsurprisingly, women have a high life expectancy than men, as they are expected to live 85.8 years while men are expected to live 81.6 years. Singapore has very low infant mortality rates, road traffic mortality rates, and deaths related to air pollution. Additionally, Singapore has the lowest mortality rate for cardiovascular or chronic respiratory diseases as well as ones related to unsafe water or lack of hygiene.

6. Spain

Spain’s average life expectancy is 83.612 years, which is 86.3 years for women and 80.9 for men. Spain is known for its Mediterranean diet, which its people see as the main reason for such a high life expectancy. The diet, which is rich in healthy fats and includes plenty of vegetables and fish, is also linked to higher cognitive performance and a lower risk of dementia.

7. Italy

With the seventh-highest life expectancy of any country, Italians can expect to live 83.568 years on average. This is 85.6 years for women and 81.4 years for men. Italian life expectancy has seen small decreases in recent years, which has been attributed to about 8.4% of Italy’s population living in total poverty. The northern portion of the country, which is the most economically developed, has a life expectancy of about three years higher than the northern, poorer part of the country.

8. Australia

Women in Australia can expect to live an average of 85.4 years and men can expect to live 81.6 years. This averages out to a life expectancy of 83.496 years for Australia. This is the eighth-highest in the world. Between 1981 and 2003, life expectancy increased in Australia more rapidly than in other high-income countries, but increase more slowly than in most high-income countries since 2003. This is attributed to slower declines in disease-specific mortality, a higher prevalence of obesity, and less scope for further reducing smoking.

9. Channel Islands

The Channels Islands have the ninth-highest life expectancy of 83.144 years. Women are expected to live for about 84.9 years and men are expected to live for about 81.2 years. Since 2000, the life expectancy has increased by almost 5 years from 78.84.

10. Iceland

Iceland’s life expectancy is the tenth-highest in the world at 83.07. Once against, women are expected to live longer than men in Iceland, with an average life expectancy of 84.5 years vs. 81.6 years for men. One reason for Iceland’s high life expectancy is its diet, which consists of a lot of fish. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are linked to a longer life. Additionally, people have very athletic lifestyles and the country has low pollution.

Countries with the Lowest Life Expectancies

The countries with the lowest life expectancies are:

Each of the ten countries with the lowest life expectancies in the world is located in Africa. As previously stated, the WHO African Region has seen the largest improvement in life expectancy, which increased by 10.3 years between 2000 and 2016. One of the reasons that African countries’ life expectancies were so low was because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Malaria was also an issue that greatly affected life expectancy. Treatment and medication for both HIV/AIDS and malaria have become more widely available since 2000 and will continue to improve health conditions across the continent, further increasing life expectancy in those countries.

Name Total Male Female
Hong Kong84.89482.00287.786
Japan84.6781.53287.718
Macau84.29681.33487.23
Switzerland83.83681.92885.654
Singapore83.66281.57485.772
Spain83.61280.86886.302
Italy83.56881.38485.598
Australia83.49681.55885.452
Channel Islands83.14481.24484.968
Iceland83.0781.59884.546
South Korea83.06279.96285.988
Israel83.0481.41684.556
Sweden82.87481.12684.616
France82.72879.79285.544
Martinique82.61479.27485.668
Malta82.59880.78884.314
Canada82.51680.55684.446
Norway82.48480.54684.432
New Zealand82.35680.6684.032
Ireland82.35480.72683.948
Netherlands82.34880.67284.002
Luxembourg82.31280.23684.394
Greece82.30879.89684.72
Guadeloupe82.278.54285.52
Portugal82.1179.11884.896
Finland81.97679.17884.768
Belgium81.70279.41283.938
Austria81.6379.28683.926
Germany81.41279.0583.786
United Kingdom81.39879.7183.052
Slovenia81.38878.65484.086
Cyprus81.05479.0183.084
Denmark80.96879.0382.916
United States Virgin Islands80.65478.05283.148
Reunion80.63877.884.03
Taiwan80.5377.88483.262
Costa Rica80.37677.8782.952
Qatar80.30479.24682.076
Chile80.27277.8882.512
Puerto Rico80.18676.6483.554
Guam80.15876.95283.572
French Guiana80.0577.14683.122
Mayotte79.54476.27283.036
Czech Republic79.4376.8281.996
Barbados79.26877.90480.55
Maldives79.03877.65480.848
Lebanon7977.22480.93
Curacao78.94275.85681.684
United States78.9376.42481.464
Cuba78.88676.93280.85
Poland78.78474.89282.614
Estonia78.74874.3882.718
Albania78.61277.0380.252
Panama78.58475.53481.798
Croatia78.55875.38681.642
United Arab Emirates78.03477.35279.374
Uruguay77.98674.22281.532
Oman77.9576.22880.406
Turkey77.76674.80880.622
French Polynesia77.7275.68479.954
New Caledonia77.63275.0480.452
Slovakia77.58674.0880.996
Bosnia And Herzegovina77.4874.98279.918
Colombia77.3674.6180.084
Bahrain77.35276.49878.484
Thailand77.19473.53680.908
Ecuador77.10474.3979.916
Antigua And Barbuda77.0875.90678.178
Sri Lanka77.05673.69280.326
China76.9674.82679.274
Algeria76.95475.75478.208
Montenegro76.94674.51679.356
Hungary76.90273.28880.312
Peru76.82274.17479.568
Tunisia76.7974.78278.812
Morocco76.7775.5177.988
Iran76.74275.64477.952
Argentina76.73873.32880.048
Aruba76.3673.8478.704
Saint Lucia76.26274.90477.646
Malaysia76.21874.2978.372
Romania76.09872.66879.556
Serbia76.0573.45878.66
Brazil75.96472.34479.618
Lithuania75.95470.35881.364
Brunei75.93274.79277.184
North Macedonia75.86473.86477.918
Kuwait75.53874.80276.652
Vietnam75.4771.38879.58
Honduras75.34273.03677.624
Latvia75.32270.28880.034
Saudi Arabia75.21674.01476.854
Mexico75.15272.30877.966
Armenia75.14271.478.54
Bulgaria75.10671.62478.712
Mauritius75.0671.7378.518
Belarus74.77469.6479.564
Belize74.65871.70877.848
Jordan74.60272.90876.382
Nicaragua74.58271.06678.056
Jamaica74.5572.9376.204
Guatemala74.38471.45677.236
Paraguay74.28472.28676.432
Dominican Republic74.14671.06477.432
Palestine74.1472.48875.852
Bahamas73.9571.66876.132
Georgia73.80869.39478.168
Trinidad And Tobago73.5570.9176.276
Kazakhstan73.48869.11277.598
Seychelles73.4769.97277.446
El Salvador73.41868.57477.916
Samoa73.36671.35475.532
Syria73.21668.76878.24
Cape Verde73.05269.59876.284
Azerbaijan73.01870.4975.504
Solomon Islands73.01471.30674.896
Libya72.99670.18476.028
Bangladesh72.71871.00874.706
World72.63270.27675.068
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines72.60870.34875.212
Russia72.56667.13477.784
Grenada72.4770.13875.034
North Korea72.33268.68475.8
Venezuela72.21468.47676.148
Ukraine72.09267.12276.886
Egypt72.0669.80474.428
Moldova71.92867.6676.176
Bhutan71.87671.48472.304
Indonesia71.77469.62274.034
Suriname71.74668.52675.13
Uzbekistan71.73469.56673.882
Bolivia71.58868.76874.57
Kyrgyzstan71.48867.46675.628
Philippines71.28267.31675.554
Tajikistan71.16668.98473.474
Tonga70.96869.0172.966
Nepal70.88269.3572.324
Iraq70.65468.58272.736
Vanuatu70.54669.03472.24
Sao Tome And Principe70.43468.01872.87
Western Sahara70.34868.68872.398
Mongolia69.94265.87274.208
Guyana69.9366.93273.146
Cambodia69.8867.58271.976
India69.7368.5371.038
East Timor69.56267.56471.7
Botswana69.39866.30672.192
Rwanda69.06466.86271.17
Kiribati68.46264.3472.43
Turkmenistan68.2464.74671.776
Senegal68.0365.84870.004
Laos68.0266.22469.86
Micronesia67.92866.25869.656
Fiji67.52665.7669.436
Pakistan67.32866.37468.36
Madagascar67.17865.54668.828
Myanmar67.16864.06270.174
Djibouti67.07265.08469.308
Ethiopia66.70664.79868.648
Kenya66.69664.30869.048
Gabon66.44864.37868.634
Eritrea66.43664.26468.676
Yemen66.19464.50467.902
Tanzania65.4663.63267.26
Sudan65.40663.5567.292
Mauritania64.99463.35266.604
Afghanistan64.95663.49866.522
Republic Of The Congo64.5863.08866.034
Papua New Guinea64.57863.33265.918
Comoros64.462.65866.208
Malawi64.30661.15467.45
Ghana64.16663.07265.284
Liberia64.1662.74865.574
South Africa64.12460.72867.652
Haiti64.10861.9366.292
Zambia63.83660.8266.816
Namibia63.75660.75666.548
Uganda63.40861.04865.65
Niger62.52861.37863.738
Gambia62.22860.82263.662
Benin61.91660.34263.478
Burkina Faso61.74460.8962.472
Burundi61.69659.87263.504
Guinea61.6860.91462.218
Zimbabwe61.36259.65262.796
Angola61.21258.48264.1
Togo61.1760.26662.054
Mozambique60.88257.82663.69
Dr Congo60.76659.22462.328
Eswatini60.00655.89464.596
Mali59.44258.65260.232
Cameroon59.3958.11460.676
Equatorial Guinea58.87857.86660.078
Guinea Bissau58.44456.40460.358
South Sudan57.94856.45459.488
Ivory Coast57.84456.64259.194
Somalia57.555.82259.24
Sierra Leone54.8153.94855.622
Nigeria54.80853.955.748
Lesotho54.36651.24857.61
Chad54.34852.93855.786
Central African Republic53.34651.16455.554