How Many Years Does Life Give Us?

Life is incredibly precious, but how long does it last? It’s a question that everybody has pondered at some point in their lives. Being aware of the average lifespan is important for everyone, whether it’s for personal reasons, financial planning or just general knowledge.

Life Expectancy in Various Countries

Life expectancy varies from country to country. It is affected by different factors such as sanitation, healthcare and poverty rates. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the five countries with the highest life expectancy are:

  • Japan – 84.6 years
  • Switzerland – 83.6 years
  • Spain – 83.4 years
  • Australia – 83.3 years
  • Italy – 83.1 years

On the other hand, the countries with the lowest life expectancy are affected by war, starvation, and poverty as well as a general lack of access to medical care during childbirth and childhood. According to the same source, the countries with the lowest life expectancy are:

  • The Central African Republic – 53 years
  • Chad – 54 years
  • Lesotho – 54 years
  • Sierra Leone – 54 years
  • Nigeria – 55 years

The Challenge

This data presents a challenge when trying to calculate the average global lifespan. The WHO reports that the average lifespan worldwide is 72 years, though it varies by country. Countries with high life expectancies have a large aging population that benefits from access to health care, while others experience shorter lifespans due to poor access to health care and lower living standards, which lead to poor health behaviors and a higher risk of premature death.

Life Expectancy by Gender

Gender is another variable that affects lifespan. WHO states that in every country examined, women tend to live longer than men. On average, women live six to eight years longer than men.

The reasons for this difference are not entirely clear, but there are several theories, including:

  • Pregnancy – A Woman goes through it multiple times in her life; it is a physiologically demanding process
  • Lifestyle Choices – Women, in general, tend to make healthier lifestyle choices than men.
  • Behavioral Factors – Women are less likely to take high risks and more safety-conscious than men.
  • Biological Factors – Women tend to have a stronger immune system than men and also tend to recover more quickly from illnesses and injuries.

Lifespan by Gender – Facts and Figures

A lengthier life is not only an impression; it is a reality based on data that demonstrates that women do live longer than men. The older men get, the more apparent this difference becomes, and this is demonstrated through immediate data visualization.

Age Group Percent of Women Alive Percent of Men Alive
65-69 88% 77%
70-74 80% 70%
75-79 69% 58%
80+ 45% 32%

Factors that Impact Lifespan

Many factors influence life expectancy. Genetics, environment, lifestyle choices, healthcare, and more have an impact on how long we live. Understanding these risk factors can help people make the right choices to increase their lifespan.


One of the primary factors affecting lifespan is genetics. Studies show that families with a history of genetic conditions, including cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, are more likely to contract these diseases themselves. Clinicians can discuss genetic counseling to help those at higher risk of developing these conditions to take preventative measures.

Lifestyle Choices

The choices we make can significantly impact our lifespan. By not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol consumption, people can increase their lifespan. Lifestyle choices impact health as well, cutting the risk of developing specific medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.


People living in environmentally polluted areas are at higher risk of developing respiratory problems such as lung cancer, respiratory tract infection, and other respiratory illnesses. Diet can help people combat the harmful effects of their environment.

Medical Care

Access to quality medical care is essential to living a longer and healthier life. Checkups, vaccinations, and early detection of potential health concerns can help increase lifespan.

The Average Lifespan is Increasing

Improvements in medicine, technology, hygiene, and public health have resulted in significant increases in human lifespan. According to the United Nations, the global average lifespan is 72.6 years.

The Impact of Medical Advances

The impact of medical advances on life expectancy cannot be overstated. For example, antibiotics have significantly reduced the death toll from infectious diseases that used to take countless lives a year. Medical technology and healthcare access have allowed for earlier diagnoses of health issues and better care for patients.

Why is Lifespan Increasing?

Science, medicine, and technology play a vital role in improving the longevity of humans. The factors noted above have had a significant impact on increasing lifespan. Other reasons include better access to healthcare, hygiene, prenatal care, and increased education.

Questions and Answers

  • What is the current global average lifespan? – 72.6 years [UN]
  • What factors influence life expectancy? – Genetics, environment, lifestyle choices, medical care, and more
  • Do women live longer than men? – Yes
  • What can individuals do to increase their lifespan? – They can exercise regularly, quit smoking, eat healthy, limit alcohol drinks, and more.
  • Can genes affect lifespan? – Yes

In conclusion, while different factors dovetail to determine life expectancy, such as genetics, environment, lifestyle choices, medical care, and more, there are pathways for individuals to increase their lifespan, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. With the help of science, medicine, and technology, our global lifespan is increasing year by year, making it possible for us all to cherish life and cherish it for longer.


  1. World Health Organization. Life Expectancy, 2021.
  2. United Nations. World Population Prospects 2019, 2020.
  3. Lee SJ, Kim YJ. A Long Life May Be More Likely if You Take Time Off. Journal of Korean Medical Science, 2018.

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