South Africa - Life expectancy at birth, total (years)

The value for Life expectancy at birth, total (years) in South Africa was 61.93 as of 2015. As the graph below shows, over the past 55 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 62.31 in 1992 and a minimum value of 52.23 in 1960.

Definition: Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.

Source: Derived from male and female life expectancy at birth from sources such as: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (3) Eurostat: Demograp

See also:

Year Value
1960 52.23
1961 52.57
1962 52.90
1963 53.23
1964 53.57
1965 53.93
1966 54.31
1967 54.70
1968 55.11
1969 55.52
1970 55.91
1971 56.27
1972 56.58
1973 56.84
1974 57.05
1975 57.21
1976 57.33
1977 57.43
1978 57.54
1979 57.66
1980 57.84
1981 58.08
1982 58.41
1983 58.80
1984 59.26
1985 59.77
1986 60.32
1987 60.87
1988 61.38
1989 61.81
1990 62.14
1991 62.31
1992 62.31
1993 62.15
1994 61.81
1995 61.27
1996 60.53
1997 59.62
1998 58.59
1999 57.48
2000 56.37
2001 55.29
2002 54.31
2003 53.49
2004 52.88
2005 52.56
2006 52.60
2007 53.00
2008 53.70
2009 54.68
2010 55.87
2011 57.18
2012 58.52
2013 59.80
2014 60.95
2015 61.93

Development Relevance: Mortality rates for different age groups (infants, children, and adults) and overall mortality indicators (life expectancy at birth or survival to a given age) are important indicators of health status in a country. Because data on the incidence and prevalence of diseases are frequently unavailable, mortality rates are often used to identify vulnerable populations. And they are among the indicators most frequently used to compare socioeconomic development across countries.

Limitations and Exceptions: Annual data series from United Nations Population Division's World Population Prospects are interpolated data from 5-year period data. Therefore they may not reflect real events as much as observed data.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Life expectancy at birth used here is the average number of years a newborn is expected to live if mortality patterns at the time of its birth remain constant in the future. It reflects the overall mortality level of a population, and summarizes the mortality pattern that prevails across all age groups in a given year. It is calculated in a period life table which provides a snapshot of a population's mortality pattern at a given time. It therefore does not reflect the mortality pattern that a person actually experiences during his/her life, which can be calculated in a cohort life table. High mortality in young age groups significantly lowers the life expectancy at birth. But if a person survives his/her childhood of high mortality, he/she may live much longer. For example, in a population with a life expectancy at birth of 50, there may be few people dying at age 50. The life expectancy at birth may be low due to the high childhood mortality so that once a person survives his/her childhood, he/she may live much longer than 50 years.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

Classification

Topic: Health Indicators

Sub-Topic: Mortality