Spain Overtake Japan With The Longest Life Expectancy

Spain Overtake Japan With The Longest Life Expectancy

Spain is set to overtake Japan as the country with the longest life expectancy, according to a study.

By 2040, it will have an average lifespan of nearly 85.8 years, moving it from fourth place to the top of the table, and beating Japan's average lifespan of 85.7.

Singapore is projected to be third (85.4 years), followed by Switzerland (85.2 years); Portugal and Italy (84.5 years); Israel (84.4 years); France (84.2 years) and Australia and Luxembourg (84.1 years).

The average lifespan in the UK is expected to rise slightly from 80.8 years to 83.3, jumping from 26th place to 23rd.

Overall global life expectancy is forecast to increase by 4.4 years for both sexes by 2040, according to the study published in The Lancet.

The world's two largest economies have differing fortunes, with China rising from 69th to 39th in the rankings (81.9 years) and the US dropping from 43rd to 64th (79.8 years).

Some African countries will be lagging well behind - Central African Republic, Lesotho, Somalia, and Zimbabwe have projected life expectancies below 65 years.

But other countries on the continent are expected to make big jumps - Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Mali, and Mozambique all have projected gains of nine years or more.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Panama are all forecast to add at least three years.

"Lifestyle diseases" are the biggest factors affecting average lifespans, say the researchers; for example obesity, high blood pressure, smoking and high blood sugar.

Air pollution will also be a significant cause of premature death in some countries, accounting for an estimated one million deaths each year in China by 2040.

However, most premature deaths in 20 years' time will be down to non-communicable diseases - illnesses that develop on their own and that are not as a result of infection - or injuries.

Sky News

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