Life expectancy up globally says UN health agency

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A 90-year old man in Tunisia. 1982. Credit: UN Photo/Kate Schafer

Life expectancy around the world is on the increase, according to the World Health Statistics 2014 report published on Thursday.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which launched the study, says the greatest progress in life expectancy has been in low-income countries.

WHO says one of the reasons for the improvement is that fewer children are dying before their fifth birthday.

Dr Ties Boerma is Director of the WHO's Department of Health Statistics.

"A baby girl born in 2012 can expect to live 73 years on average globally, a baby boy 68 on average. Now, compared to 1990 that's six years longer but in the low income countries the increase has been larger than in the high income countries. In fact, nine years were gained in life expectancy in the low income countries versus four years in the high income countries." (27")

WHO points out, however, that there are still gaps in the average life expectancy between rich and poor countries.

It says a boy born in 2012 in a high-income country can expect to live to the age of around 76, that's 16 years longer than a boy born in a low-income country.

For girls the gap is even wider where the life expectancy is 82 and 63 years respectively.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration:  1’30″



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