Why South Africa Has The Lowest Life Expectancy Globally


A new report, commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the US National Institutes of Health, and produced by the US Census Bureau has found that South Africa has the lowest life expectancy of all countries surveyed.

The report, titled “An Aging World: 2015“, found the world’s older population is growing. Currently, 8.5% of the world’s population is 65 or older but this is expected to rise to over 17% by 2050.

Worryingly for South Africa, though, the report found that life expectancy at birth was only 49.7 years of age in 2015. South African men are expected to live a little longer (50.7 years) while women only until 48.7 years.

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This figure is significantly lower than that reported by Stats SA, which puts the average life expectancy at birth at 61 years in 2015 while the World Health Organisation puts it at 60 years.

HIV/AIDS is the biggest reason for such a low life expectancy but the US Census Bureau did note that things are changing and by 2050, life expectancy in South Africa is expected to climb to 63.2 years.

“Decreases in mortality due to HIV/AIDS has changed the prospects for South Africa and removed it from the list (of nations in population decline),” the report said.

The five countries with the highest life expectancy in 2015 was Japan and Singapore (both 84.7) with Macau (84.5), Hong Kong (82.9) and Switzerland (82.5).

source: The South African.com

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