Life Expectancy

February 23, 2017

A new study suggests that by the year 2030, life expectancy at birth is set to increase globally -- and that South Koreans may live the longest, up to age 90 on average. Scientists from Imperial College London and the World Health Organization crunched the numbers.

The countries included were nations like the United States, the U.K., Germany and Australia, to emerging economies like Poland, Mexico and the Czech Republic. A baby girl born in South Korea in 2030 will have an average life expectancy of 90.8 years. A baby boy born in the same place and time would be expected to live to age 84.1 years. Life expectancy over age 90 was once considered impossible.

That's the good news...

Now the bad news:

Among high-income countries, the United States ranked lowest: our average life expectancies topped out at only 83.3 years for women and 79.5 years for men born in the year 2030. For comparison, French women are expected to live until age 88.6 and Swiss and Australian men until age 84.

Reasons for the lower U.S. life expectancy, which is already lower than most high-income countries:

  •  --Income inequalities
  •  --The absence of universal health insurance
  •  --Our body mass indexes show the results of poor diet and lack of exercise
  •  --The U.S. has the highest homicide rate, body mass index and death rates for children and mothers of all high-income countries.