Which Countries Have the Highest Life Expectancy?

It is not easy to accept the inevitable fate that there is a temporal limit to this existence, that our lifespan does, indeed, have an end.  If you live in Japan, though, you can rest assured that the people of your country consistently live the longest among all humankind on the planet. Indeed, Japan’s number one ranking comes from an average lifespan expectancy of 82.9 years (last year). But it looks like Spain is set to overtake Japan as the country with the highest life expectancy among citizens by 2040.

In addition to Spain moving up on this list, it looks like China is also looking to see an increase in life expectancy, and dramatically so.  According to this new study, published this week in the medical journal The Lancet, China was ranked 68th(out of 195) in 2016, with a life expectancy of 76.3 years.  Recent health trends suggest, however, that this could improve to a ranking of 39th, with a life expectancy of 81.9 years, by 2040.

Still, in 2040, rates suggest that Spaniards will have the longest life expectancy of 85.8 years while the Japanese will only slightly trail with a life expectancy of 85.7.  In case you are interested, here is the top 10 list:

  • Spain – 85.8 years
  • Japan – 85.7 years
  • Singapore – 85.4 years
  • Switzerland – 85.2 years
  • Portugal – 84.5 years
  • Italy – 84.5 years
  • Israel – 84.4 years
  • France – 84.3 years
  • Luxembourg – 84.1 years

10)  Australia – 84.1 years

Of course, you are probably reading this in the United States and, if you are, you are probably wondering where you are among these global statistics.  Unfortunately, American citizens have never fared well on this 195-strong list.  In 2016 the US ranked 43rdwith an average lifespan of 78.7 years, which is expected to plummet to a ranking of 64thin 2040, even though the average lifespan is expected to increase to 79.8.

The study mostly took into account the top five health factors affecting future premature death outcomes. These are high blood pressure, high BMI, high blood sugar, tobacco use, and alcohol use.  The study also took into account some of the conditions known to shorten lives, noting a significant increase in deaths related to non-communicable diseases including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, and lung cancer; also warning of higher prevalence of health outcomes linked to obesity.