Our planet earth is the only place in the universe where life exists. Life thrives on earth in all sorts of forms — from single-cell bacteria to the most advanced organism Homo sapiens — that is the human beings. If you think about it, life is indeed a miracle. Every organism wants to live as long as possible for it. But as death is inevitable — people often wonder about the life expectancy of human beings. How long can a man or woman live on average? Questions like what is the human life expectancy of the world? and what is average human lifespan? often become the topics of discussion. In this article we take a look at the answers of these questions.
What is Life Expectancy?
Life expectancy, sometimes referred to as longevity, is a average statistical measure for deducing how long an organism is expected to live. For humans, the life expectancy is calculated by taking into account the current age of the individual and other factors like gender and location. We will discuss these factors in detail a bit later. There are two ways to calculate the life expectancy.
1. Cohort Life Expectancy at Birth (Cohort LEB)
Cohort LEB is calculated from the average life expectancy of individuals born in the same year. Let’s take an example. If we want to calculate the cohort life expectancy at age 69 years in the year 2020, we would calculate it on the basis of mortality rate for age 69 years in 2020.
2. Period Life Expectancy (Period LEB)
Period LEB is the average length of life of a hypothetical cohort assumed to be exposed, from birth through death, to the mortality rates observed at a given year. Period life expectancy tend to be lower than cohort life expectancy, because it does not include any assumptions about future improvements in mortality rates.
Longest Living Humans
The top ten longest living human beings have all been women. The oldest human on record is a French woman named Jeanne Calment who was born on 21 February 1875 and went on to live for an age of 122 years and 164 days. Ms. Calment died on 04 August 1997. Following table shows the details of the top ten oldest people in the world.
|Rank||Name||Gender||Birth date||Death date||Age||Country|
|1||Jeanne Calment||Woman||21 February 1875||4 August 1997||122 years, 164 days||France|
|2||Sarah Knauss||Woman||24 September 1880||30 December 1999||119 years, 97 days||United States|
|3||Kane Tanaka||Woman||2 January 1903||Living||117 years, 308 days||Japan|
|4||Nabi Tajima||Woman||4 August 1900||21 April 2018||117 years, 260 days||Japan|
|5||Lucy Hannah||Woman||16 July 1875||21 March 1993||117 years, 248 days||United States|
|6||Marie-Louise Meilleur||Woman||29 August 1880||16 April 1998||117 years, 230 days||Canada|
|7||Violet Brown||Woman||10 March 1900||15 September 2017||117 years, 189 days||Jamaica|
|8||Emma Morano||Woman||29 November 1899||15 April 2017||117 years, 137 days||Italy|
|9||Chiyo Miyako||Woman||2 May 1901||22 July 2018||117 years, 81 days||Japan|
|10||Misao Okawa||Woman||5 March 1898||1 April 2015||117 years, 27 days||Japan|
The oldest man in the world was Jiroemon Kimura of Japan. Mr. Kimura was born on 19 April 1897 and he died on 12 June 2013 at the age of 116 years and 54 days.
Factors Affecting Life Expectancy for Humans
Although everyone wants to live as long as possible, external factors have a huge impact on the average lifespan of human beings. In 2020, the average human life expectancy or the average human lifespan is 69.7 years. Following are some of the factors which affect this average.
Statistically, women live considerably longer than men. In most societies, men smoke and drink much more than women. This causes men to die from medical conditions like lung cancer, tuberculosis and cirrhosis. Men are also more likely to die due to wars and battles. Men are also more likely to sustain life-threatening injuries as they hunt for food, work in the fields and factories. These factors outweigh the likelihood of women dying due to conditions like breast cancer, cervical cancer or child-birth.
Average human lifespan is lower in poorer countries. Wealthier people can afford best of living conditions, including nutritious food and safety. They can also afford state-of-the-art medical facilities. In contrast, poorer people, especially in acute poverty, may fail to acquire food or medical assistance and die prematurely.
Richer countries like USA, Canada, UK and European nations have significantly higher life expectancy than the much poorer nations in Africa.
Scientist have identified several loci in human genome which influence the life expectancy and thus the average human lifespan. A study published in July 2020 suggests that high levels of iron in the blood likely reduce, and genes involved in metabolising iron likely increase healthy years of life in humans.
Higher level of education in a society is likely to increase the average lifespan on its individuals. This is partly because of the better income opportunities made possible by the higher education. A more educated society is also more likely to keep itself safe from diseases and conflicts.
Certain areas in the world have endemic diseases that cause the average lifespan to reduce. Viral diseases, bacterial disease and vector-born diseases may become endemic to a specific area. These diseases periodically appear and kill human beings prematurely.
Average Human Lifespan in Countries
The average lifespan of human all across the world is 69.7 years.
|Countries and regions||Overall (years)||Female (years)||Male (years)|
|United Arab Emirates||77.8||79.2||77.1|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||77.3||79.7||74.8|
|Antigua and Barbuda||76.9||78||75.7|
|People’s Republic of China||76.7||79.1||74.5|
|Latin America and the Caribbean||75.4||78.6||72.3|
|East Asia , Southeast Asia and Oceania||75.3||77.8||72.9|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||74.6|
|Europe and Central Asia||74.2||77.5||70.8|
|Trinidad and Tobago||73.4||76.1||70.8|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||72.4||75||70.2|
|Sao Tome and Principe||70.2||72.6||67.8|
|Federated States of Micronesia||67.8||69.5||66.1|
|Congo, Republic of||64.3||65.7||62.8|
|Papua New Guinea||64.3||65.6||63|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||60.4||61.9||58.9|
|Central African Republic||52.8||55||50.6|