Gender Smart | February 23, 2017

South Korean women will live longer in 2030. American men, not so much

The team at


Women Rising

Improvements in maternal and child health, as well as adult health, will drive increases in life expectancy in industrialized nations by 2030.

A study on future life expectancy in 35 countries, published Tuesday in the Lancet, found a greater than 50 percent chance the life expectancy of South Korea women at birth will be higher than 90 years — the world’s highest. That level was nearly unthinkable just a few years ago. Life expectancy for Korean men born in 2030 is expected to reach 84.1 years.

“If there is a limit to longevity, we are nowhere near it,” Majid Ezzati, professor at Imperial College London, who led the research, told CNN. “We should be planning for more life,” including for health and social services and pensions.

In the U.S., where obesity rates, homicides and road accidents are pushing up rates of young and middle-age mortality, women born in 2030 can expect to reach 83.3 years, men 79.5 years (up from 81.2 and 76.3 in 2015).

The female-male gap, a function of men’s greater tobacco and alcohol consumption, is expected to narrow by 2030, as lifestyles converge.

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