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May 21, 2016 1:20 pm

Israel Has World’s 6th-Highest Life Expectancy, World Health Organization Says

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The World Health Organization flag. Credit: World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization flag. Credit: World Health Organization.

JNS.org – Despite ongoing security threats and regional instability, Israelis can expect to live well into their 80s, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) newly released global report on life expectancy.

Japan has the world’s highest average life expectancy—nearly 84 years—followed by Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and Spain. Israel came in sixth. The shortest life expectancy belongs to Sierra Leone, with women in that country only expected to live to about 51 years and men about 59 years.

Israelis can expect an average lifespan of 82.5 years—80.6 for men and 84.3 for women, according to WHO. This sharply contrasts with some of Israel’s neighbors, including Egypt (71 years) and Jordan (74 years). For those living in conflict-ridden Syria and Iraq, the average life expectancies are about 65 and 69 years, respectively.

In the United States, males have an average lifespan of 77 years and women an average of 81.6 years.

Life expectancies around the world went up an average of five years since the last such report was compiled by WHO in 2000.

“The world has made great strides in reducing the needless suffering and premature deaths that arise from preventable and treatable diseases,” said Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general. “But the gains have been uneven. Supporting countries to move towards universal health coverage based on strong primary care is the best thing we can do to make sure no one is left behind.”

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