World Health Statistics 2014
Health stats show large gains in life expectancy
Latest World Health stats show
large gains in life expectancy People everywhere are living longer, according to
the World Health
Statistics 2014 published in May by the World Health Organization
(WHO). Middle East Health reports.
Based on global averages, a girl who was
born in 2012 can expect to live to around
73 years, and a boy to the age of 68. This is
six years longer than the average global life
expectancy for a child born in 1990.
WHO’s annual statistics report shows
that low-income countries have made the
greatest progress, with an average increase
in life expectancy by 9 years from 1990
to 2012. The top six countries where life
expectancy increased the most were Liberia
which saw a 20-year increase (from
42 years in 1990 to 62 years in 2012) followed
by Ethiopia (from 45 to 64 years),
Maldives (58 to 77 years), Cambodia (54
to 72 years), Timor-Leste (50 to 66 years)
and Rwanda (48 to 65 years).
“An important reason why global life
expectancy has improved so much is that
fewer children are dying before their fifth
birthday,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO
Director-General. “But there is still a
major rich-poor divide: people in highincome
countries continue to have a much
better chance of living longer than people
in low-income countries.”
Gaps between rich and poor countries
A boy born in 2012 in a high-income country
can expect to live to the age of around 76 – 16
years longer than a boy born in a low-income
country (age 60). For girls, the difference is
even wider; a gap of 19 years separates life expectancy
in high-income (82 years) and lowincome
countries (63 years).
Wherever they live in the world, women
live longer than men. The gap between male
and female life expectancy is greater in highincome
countries where women live around
six years longer than men. In low-income
countries, the difference is around three years.
Women in Japan have the longest life
expectancy in the world at 87 years, followed
by Spain, Switzerland and Singapore.
Female life expectancy in all the top 10
countries was 84 years or longer. Life expectancy
among men is 80 years or more in nine countries, with the longest male life
in Iceland, Switzerland and Australia.
In high-income countries, much of the
gain in life expectancy is due to success in
tackling noncommunicable diseases,” says
Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department
of Health Statistics and Information
Systems at WHO. “Fewer men and women
are dying before they get to their 60th
birthday from heart disease and stroke.
Richer countries have become better at
monitoring and managing high blood pressure
Declining tobacco use is also a key factor in
helping people live longer in several countries.
Key facts from World Health Statistics 2014
- The top three causes of years of life
lost due to premature death are coronary
heart disease, lower respiratory infections
(such as pneumonia) and stroke.
- Worldwide, a major shift is occurring
in the causes and ages of death. In 22
countries (all in Africa), 70% or more of
years of life lost (due to premature deaths)
are still caused by infectious diseases and
related conditions. Meanwhile, in 47 countries (mostly high-income), noncommunicable
diseases and injuries cause more
than 90% of years of life lost. More than
100 countries are transitioning rapidly towards
a greater proportion of deaths from
noncommunicable diseases and injuries.
- Around 44 million (6.7%) of the
world’s children aged less than five years
were overweight or obese in 2012. Ten million
of these children were in the WHO
African Region where levels of child obesity
have increased rapidly.
- Most deaths among under-fives occur
among children born prematurely
(17.3%); pneumonia is responsible for the
second highest number of deaths (15.2%).
- Between 1995 and 2012, 56 million
people were successfully treated for tuberculosis
and 22 million lives were saved. In 2012,
an estimated 450 000 people worldwide developed
multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
- Only one-third of all deaths worldwide
are recorded in civil registries along
with cause-of-death information.
World Health Statistics 2014
of upload: 14th July 2014