One of the best measures of the health of a nation’s population is average life expectancy at birth. The United States’ life expectancy of 78.7 remains high compared to most of the world. However, due largely to rising drug overdose and suicide deaths, average life expectancy has decreased for three consecutive years.
Every country has its own struggles that can lower life expectancy — whether it is pollution, war, or unhealthy behaviors. Since 1870, life expectancies have continually climbed worldwide. Many nations, by implementing a combination of better sanitation, health care, and safety, have increased their life expectancies to more than 80 years.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed World Bank data on life expectancy at birth to determine the 50 countries where people live the longest.
There are many factors that correlate with longer life expectancy. One of the most notable is wealth. Wealthy developed nations are generally more able to provide health care to their residents, and wealthier individuals tend to lead relatively healthier lifestyles. Nearly all of the richest countries in the world also rank among the places where people live longest.
According to World Bank data, women have noticeably higher life expectancies than men in every country for which data is available. They tend to outlive men by a worldwide average of more than four years.
To identify the countries where people live the longest, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the most recent life-expectancy at birth data collected by the World Bank’s “World Development Indicators” database. GDP and GDP per capita were obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and all other data points were obtained from the World Bank. Only countries with data from 2016, the most recent year available, were considered. Territories such as Puerto Rico and Curacao, and other nations that were not fully independent were not considered.