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12.09.2005

Life Expectancy

...selected countries, 2002

77.3 US
75.0 Japan
72.6 Australia
72.0 Canada
70.6 UK
65.5 Mexico
64.1 China
59.3 Brazil
58.6 Russia
35.5 Afghanistan
28.6 Sierra Leone

5 Comments:

At 1:02 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

Ahem, Josko:

74.45 Croatia

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know where you got your data from. According to the World Health Organization, the life expectancy for new borns of both sexes in 2003 differs from your numbers. Some of the same selected countries.

Japan 82 years
Australia 81
Canada 80
U.K. 79
U.S. 77

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger joŇ°ko said...

I got the numbers from a chart in Friday's New York Metro about a story of increasing American life expectancy. This is their website:

http://ny.metro.us/

...but I couldn't find the story there and I couldn't find their archives so I can't tell you their source.

I thought it noteworthy mostly 'cause I always though Japan had a larger life expectancy than the US. Thanks for your numbers. As Mark Twain said, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics..." Your numbers seem to fit better my intution anyhow.

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

Life expectancy is a pretty good case of "damn lies".

This is pretty complicated. Read this:

The national longevity number, as calculated above, automatically excludes many improvements in health care. For example, suppose that because of the use of statin drugs to reduce cholesterol, people born in 1950 are going to have considerably lower death rates from heart attacks around age 60 than people born in 1930. The longevity calculation does not know this. All it knows is the death rate at age 60 for people born in 1930, and it applies that death rate to people born in 1950.

Thus, by its very definition, "average" longevity rules out measuring much of the increase in lifespan that recent advances in medical care have produced. For miracle drugs and other life-saving treatments, average longevity calculations will always be behind the curve in assessing their effects.

Comparing international health outcomes based on "average" longevity is a meaningless exercise. In such calculations, cohorts born before 1950 have a large influence on the estimated death rates over age 50 for people born today. In effect what you are comparing across countries is a combination of their current rates of infant mortality and the state of care of the elderly shortly after World War II. In reality, such longevity comparisons say very little about the quality of health care for today's adults.

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

In the case of my comment, I used the "average life expectancy" from the CIA world factbook. The same source also lists women vs men. The women obviously live longer, which could be the source of higher numbers.

 

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