Life expectancy is falling around the world


VS’is a level not seen for 10 years. Life expectancy at birth has fallen by an average of 1.4 years worldwide since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the 2021-2022 report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), falling from 72.8 years in 2019 to 71.4 years in 2021. This is its lowest level since 2012, when it stood at 71.2 years. Between 1950 and 2019, the average life expectancy in the world had increased uninterruptedly, gaining a total of 27.1 years.

Life expectancy fell in 70% of countries on the planet in 2020 and continued to fall in 2021 in two thirds of them. With the exception of East Asia, where it recorded a slight increase between 2019 and 2021 (from 75.4 to 75.6 years), life expectancy fell during this period in all regions of the world: from 61.5 to 60.1 years in sub-Saharan Africa, from 75.6 to 72.1 years in Latin America, from 69.9 to 67.9 years in South Asia or even 74.4 to 72.9 years in Europe and Central Asia. It has fallen as much in the least developed countries of the planet (from 65.3 to 64.2 years) as in the richest countries, falling from 80.4 to 79 years in those of the OECD.

The Chinese exception

Among the countries in the world where life expectancy has fallen the most over the past two years are Bolivia (-7.9 years, from 71.5 to 63.6 years), Oman (-5.4 years, from 77.9 to 72.5 years), Cuba (- 5.1 years, from 78.8 to 73.7 years), Mexico (- 4.9 years, from 75.1 to 70.2 years), Colombia (- 4.5 years, from 77.3 to 72.8 years) and Peru (- 4.3 years, from 76.7 to 72.4 years).

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Among the most populous countries on the planet, Japan and especially China are exceptions: the average life expectancy increased between 2019 and 2021 by 0.2 years in the first (from 84.6 to 84.8 years) and 1.3 years in the second (from 76.9 to 78.2 years). On the other hand, it fell by 4.1 years in Indonesia (from 71.7 to 67.6 years), by 3.2 years in Russia (from 72.6 to 69.4 years) by 3.1 years in Brazil ( 75.9 to 72.8 years), 2.5 years in India (69.7 to 67.2 years), 2 years in Nigeria (54.7 to 52.7 years), 1, 7 years in the United States (78.9 to 77.2 years) and 1.2 years in Pakistan (67.3 to 66.1 years).

In Europe, the average life expectancy at birth has fallen between 2019 and 2021 by 1.1 years in Portugal (from 82.1 to 81 years), by 0.7 years in Germany (from 81.3 to 80, 6 years), 0.6 years in Italy (from 83.5 to 82.9 years) and the United Kingdom (from 81.3 to 80.7 years) and 0.2 years in France (from 82. 7 to 82.5 years). On the other hand, it continued to increase by 0.2 years in Sweden (from 82.8 to 83 years), by 0.5 years in Denmark (from 80.9 to 81.4 years) and by 0.8 years in Norway. (from 82.4 to 83.2 years).


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