World health report on life expectancy


Worldwide, people are living longer. But while overall deaths from infectious diseases and pre-term birth are decreasing, deaths from heart disease, conflict, and terrorism are on the rise. The report called the Global Burden of Disease study examines the state of the world’s health by estimating average life expectancy as well as the number of deaths, illnesses, and injuries from more than 300 causes.

Life Expectancy

The report found that the average global life expectancy is 72.5 years (75.3 years for women and 69.8 years for men). That’s up from an average life expectancy of 65.1 years in 1990 and 58.4 years in 1970, the report said. Japan had the highest life expectancy in 2016 at 83.9 years while the Central African Republic had the lowest at 50.2 years.

Overall, there were 54.7 million deaths worldwide in 2016.

Nearly three-quarters (72.3 %) of those deaths were from so-called “non-communicable diseases” or those that cannot pass from person to person including heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

About 19% of deaths in 2016 were from communicable diseases, maternal diseases (which occur during pregnancy and childbirth), neonatal diseases (which occur around the newborn period), and nutritional diseases (which include nutritional deficiencies). About 8% of deaths were from injuries.

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