World Health Statistics 2014: Japan Tops Life Expectancy

World Health Statistics is the WHO's annual report presenting the most recent health statistics for the WHO Member States. This year, the report highlights one of the continuing megatrends in the globe – the rapid increase in population ageing. The world has witnessed major gains in life expectancy in recent decades. A baby girl born in 2012 can expect to live an average of 72.7 years, and a baby boy to 68.1 years. This is 6 years longer than the average global life expectancy for a child born in 1990.

World Health Statistics 2014

Japan tops life expectancy among all WHO Member States. Women in Japan have the highest life expectancy in the world at 87.0 years, followed by Spain, Switzerland and Singapore. Life expectancy among men is 80 years or more in 9 countries, which Japan is ranked at the 8th (80.0 years).

We are all living longer, but how long depends on where you are born. Low-income countries have made the most significant progress, with an increase of 9 years of average life expectancy between 1990 and 2012 – from 51.2 to 60.2 years for men and 54.0 to 63.1 years for women. However, inequalities in the health status have grown even among low-income countries. There are 9 countries (all in sub-Saharan Africa) where the average life expectancy for both men and women is still less than 55 years.