CIA World Factbook color-coded map reveals the startling difference in life expectancies across 222 of the world’s countries.
The map shows how people are likely to live the longest in developed countries with state-funded healthcare systems like Japan, Canada and the UK, which each have average life expectancies of over 80 years.
The tiny tax haven of Monaco – with its notoriously wealthy inhabitants and compulsory state-funded health service – has the highest life expectancy at an average of 89.68 years, five years higher than anywhere else on earth, according to the CIA World Factbook. The country with the worst life expectancy is the African state of Chad at a shocking 48.69 years.
Life expectancy in America ranks 51st in the CIA’s table at 78.49 years – lower than Canada (81.48), Australia (81.90), New Zealand (80.71), Japan (83.91), the UK (80.17) and much of Europe.
Of the top five longest-living nations the only large country is Japan, with the rest being city states (see box).
Life expectancy levels in South America and generally 10 years lower than those in North America.
People are likely to live the shortest in sub-Saharan Africa, with no country in that vast region having an average life expectancy of over 60.
CIA World Factbook color-coded map reveals the startling difference in life expectancies across 222 of the world’s countries
Only a few Asian countries, including Afghanistan (49.72) and a couple of Caribbean nations, have such similarly short life expectancies compared with Africa.
The worst countries to live in if you want to reach old age are Afghanistan (49.72), Swaziland (49.42), South Africa (49.41) Guinea-Bissau (49.11) and Chad (48.69), whose people are generally expected to die before they even reach middle age.
The figures confirm that women on average live longer than men. Life expectancy for a woman in Monaco is 93.77 years compared with that of a man at 85.74 years. In Chad life expectancy for men is only 47.61 years while women are expected to live slightly longer to 49.82 years.
While The United States has consistently fallen in the rank of world nations over the last 50 years, the average life expectancy has risen from 69.8 years in 1960 to 78.49 today.
And while Chad’s figure of 48.69 today is shockingly low, in 1960 Afghanistan had the world’s lowest life expectancy at 31.3 years.
Researchers say men will soon live longer than women for the first time since records began after abandoning their unhealthy, macho lifestyles.
Once boys born in 2000 reach the age of 30, they can expect to match girls of the same age by living to 87.1.
Researchers predict younger males will then go on to surpass the life spans of their female counterparts.
In 1970, a man aged 30 was expected to die 5.7 years before a woman of the same age – the widest gap since records began in 1841.
The common view has been that men are condemned to earlier graves by underlying genetic factors – despite growing life expectancies for both sexes.
Researchers say men will soon live longer than women for the first time since records began after abandoning their unhealthy, macho lifestyles
Leslie Mayhew, professor of statistics at Cass Business School at London’s City University – which advises the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on population projections – points to lifestyle changes to explain his controversial forecast.
Prof. Leslie Mayhew told The Sunday Times: “There has been a huge decline in the numbers working in heavy industry; far fewer males smoke than before, and there is much better treatment for heart disease, which tends to affect males more than females.”
Lung cancer rates have also halved among men since 1975, while nearly doubling among women.
Leslie Mayhew’s predictions – which exclude Scotland, where men are expected to continue to trail women because of lifestyle factors – are due to be published next month.
But the forecast does not match that of the ONS, which predicts a boy born in the millennium year who reaches 30 can expect to die 3.5 years before a girl of the same age.
Prof. Leslie Mayhew argues the ONS has been consistently too cautious in acknowledging the shifts in life expectancy over the past few decades.
The longer longevity for men only kicks in at 30, with life expectancy remaining much better for baby girls and mortality rates higher among men between their reckless years of 16 and 30.
The research also highlights discrepancies between men and women in other countries, such as Russia, where there is a 12 year gap, and India, where it is just 12 months or less.
The report also predicts that the gap will close in Sweden in 2024 – six years ahead of Britain – but not until 2046 in France.