Life Expectancy – The average number of years a person might be expected to live
The judge sentenced her to life but there was an expectancy (life expectancy) that she would be out in a number of years.
Average life expectancy for the entire world population in 2020 was 72.63 years, an increase of 0.24% on 2019.
However, like most averages, this hides some big variations.
Japan leads the field in longevity: in 2019, it had a life expectancy of 81.5 years for men and 87.7 for women.
That is in sharp contrast to the Central African Republic, which in the same year had a life expectancy for men of 51.5 years, and for women, 55.5.
In the USA, life expectancy in 2019 was 76.6 years for men and 81.6 for women, while in the UK it was 79.6 (men) and 83 (women).
Life expectancy has improved in line with improvements in healthcare, housing, incomes, and a range of other socio-economic factors.
To see how far some countries have come, consider the fact that in 1920, life expectancy in the USA was 53.6 for men and 54.6 for women, less than today's expectations for the some of the world's worst-performing nations.
Major factors that affect life expectancy include:
- Gender (women on average live longer than men)
- Genetics (which play a role in nine of the top ten causes of death)
- Prenatal and childhood conditions
- Socio-economic status
- Marital status (those who are married live longer than those who have never married)
- Ethnicity/migrant status
- Lifestyle (including diet, drinking and drug-taking habits)
- Medical technology (including transplants, vaccines and antibiotics)