Japanese Women Show Longest Life Expectancy

Associated Press
Saturday, May 19, 2007

GENEVA, May 18 -- A boy born in San Marino, a tiny republic surrounded by Italy, will likely live to age 80, the world's longest male life expectancy, but newborn girls in Japan and 30 other countries have even better prospects, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Sierra Leone registered the shortest male life expectancy at 37 years -- the same as that of girls in Swaziland, who were at the bottom of the female list, WHO's "World Health Statistics 2007" report shows.

Women in Japan, who traditionally lead the world tables, have a life expectancy of 86 years, the same as last year's statistics. San Marino men, who tied with Japanese men last year at 79, added a year to get ahead.

Men in the United States have a 75-year life expectancy; U.S. women could reach 80.

WHO said the life-expectancy figures were based on 2005, the latest year available. It said statistics kept by its 193 member states may vary in some cases because it had computed the figures itself to ensure compatibility.

Following San Marino on the male side were Australia, Iceland, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland at 79 years and then Canada, Israel, Italy, Monaco and Singapore at 78. France was tied for 12th place at 77 years with a group of countries including New Zealand and Britain. Germany was at 76 years. Cuba was among the countries that tied the United States for 33rd place at 75 years.

Member states with long-living women include Monaco, 85 years, and Andorra, Australia, France, Italy, San Marino, Spain and Switzerland at 84. Canada tied Iceland and Sweden at 83 years for women, and Germany was in a group at 82 years. Britain came in at 81 years. Costa Rica and Denmark tied the United States for 32nd place at 80 years.

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