Average global life expectancy is now 70.4 years; 73.3 for women and 67.5 for men.
Life expectancy has gone up significantly in places like Iran, Bangladesh, the Maldives, South America and Africa, where the increase has been of 13 years or more, compared to previous decades. North America, Western Europe and Australasia have seen a modest increase of 7 plus years.
The rise in life expectancy has been possible thanks to the improvement in health programs and the control/cure of many infectious diseases that ended up in death, especially in young children.
But, there are places where the rise has been negligible like Eastern Europe, with an average increase of just 1 year. Other places have even experienced a decline in life expectancy. Such is the case of Lesotho and Belarus, which have seen a rise in HIV and alcoholism, respectively.
According to a report published by The Lancet, although we live longer now, the quality of life has declined due to the rise in obesity and its consequences: diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions.
- The Lancet: Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 – December 13, 2012
- New Scientist Magazine: Overeating now bigger global problem than lack of food – December 18, 2012 – Jessica Hamzelou