It’s good news for Korea and bad news for the USA. A new study, led by scientists from Imperial College London and the WHO has ranked 35 industrialised countries by life expectancy.
The study, published in The Lancet and funded by the UK Medical Research Council, has revealed that life expectancy is set to rise. A South Korean girl born in 2030 can expect to see what 2120 looks like with a life expectancy of 90.8 years. Life expectancy at birth for South Korean men will be 84.1 years.
UK life expectancy is estimated to reach 85.3 for women and 82.5 for men; and 83.3 for women and 79.5 for men in the USA, the lowest out of all developed countries. The study notes that this may be because of no universal healthcare, obesity, the highest child/maternal mortality rates and just straight up homicide.
South Korean’s on the other hand have good nutrition in childhood, low blood pressure, low levels of smoking, good access to healthcare, and uptake of new medical knowledge and technologies.
You probably want to know how long you’ll live though. If you’re planning on being 65 by the year 2030 then New Zealand has just about the highest rate for additional years on your life. a 65 year old man in New Zealand can expect to have another 22 and a half years to enjoy Aotearoa. This is just behind guys in Canada who get 22.6 additional years, and above Auzzies who have 22.2.
Lead author Professor Majid Ezzati, Imperial College London, warns that we’re not all in the clear though, and we must start improving facilities for the elderly. “…it is important that policies to support the growing older population are in place. In particular, we will need to both strengthen our health and social care systems and to establish alternative models of care such as technology-assisted home care.”
Pensions and retirement ages may also need to start shifting.
“Dealing with an ageing population will require a combination of strengthening and positioning our health and social care systems and our societies as a whole, so as to ensure that people age healthily, continue to contribute to society for longer, and receive appropriate pension and care once they age.” said Professor Ezzati.
What’s the point of hitting 90 if you’re just going to be spending that time rotting in a rest-home?