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Life Expectancy Increasing Around the Globe

Life Expectancy Increasing Around the Globe

Depending on your location and gender, you may live to an average of 80, 85, or even 90 years old.

Someday, we might all make it to our Betty White years. That's the gist of a new study published in The Lancet, which found that average life expectancy is likely to keep increasing across the globe. Researchers predict that by 2030, many babies born in industrialized countries can expect to live to an average of 80, 85 or even 90 years old.

Of course, your potential tenure on Earth depends largely on your location. Of the 35 nations analyzed, South Korea is predicted to have the highest life expectancy—almost 91 years for women, and about 84 years for men. Improved childhood nutrition, little smoking, quality healthcare access and education were cited as reasons for the good news. Though no other country breaks the age-90 barrier, Australia, Spain, and Switzerland rank highly for both genders. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Macedonian women should expect to live to an average of 77.8 years old, while Serbian men will likely make it to around 73.4. Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania join them at the bottom of the study's rankings, though life expectancy is forecasted to rise—especially for men—in each country. 

In general, women live longer than men for reasons both biological and behavioral: Hormones and genetics predispose them to a few extra years, and they tend to have healthier lifestyles.

Life expectancy in America 
As for the US, news is mixed. It's predicted that American life expectancy will be 79.5 years for men and 83.3 for women, placing us at the lower end of the study's list, around Croatia and Poland. Reasons include: 

•    Comparatively high child mortality rates
•    More homicides
•    More motor vehicle accidents
•    Widespread obesity
•    "Insufficient and inequitable health care"

Despite the low ranking, US lifespans are expected to increase two to three years for both sexes by 2030. It's currently 76.3 for men and 81.2 for women, though it should be noted it actually declined slightly in 2015, a surprising development not accounted for in the Lancet study, which stopped analyzing US data in 2013. 

If you'd like to live a longer, healthier life, you can start by taking Sharecare's RealAge Test. You'll learn how your diet, activity levels, sleep and more affect your current biological age, and get smart tips on maximizing your wellbeing. 

Medically reviewed in September 2018.

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