Which countries have the highest and lowest life expectancy?

Life expectancy in the UK is growing at one of the slowest rates compared with other G7 countries (Pixabay/Pexels)
Life expectancy in the UK is growing at one of the slowest rates compared with other G7 countries (Pixabay/Pexels)

Recent research has shown that life expectancy in the UK has grown at a slower rate than other G7 countries, excluding the US.

Compared with similar countries’ life expectancies over the past 70 years, the UK is falling behind due to widening inequality, according to findings published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that the UK is the second most economically unequal country in Europe after Bulgaria.

Professor Martin McKee, a co-author of the study from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “While politicians invoke global factors, especially the effects of the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine, the reality is that, as in the 1950s, the country suffers from major structural and institutional weaknesses.”

The researchers also point to income inequalities which increased around the 1980s.

Professor McKee said: “That rise also saw an increase in the variation in life expectancy between different social groups. One reason why the overall increase in life expectancy has been so sluggish in the UK is that in recent years it has fallen for poorer groups.”

But which countries have the highest and lowest life expectancy numbers?

Which countries have the highest life expectancy?

Monaco has the highest life expectancy in the world in 2023, according to World Population Review, where locals live to an average age of 87.

Asian countries in the top 10 include Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, while European countries that made the list include Switzerland and Italy.

1. Monaco (87)

2. Hong Kong (85)

3. Macau (85)

4. Japan (84)

5. Liechtenstein (84)

6. Switzerland (84)

7. Singapore

8. Italy (84)

9. Vatican City (84)

10. South Korea (84)

Which countries have the lowest life expectancy?

According to World Population Review, these countries have the lowest life expectancy.

1. Chad (54)

2. Nigeria (54)

3. Lesotho (55)

4. Central African Republic (55)

5. South Sudan (57)

6. Somalia (57)

7. Eswatini (58)

8. Namibia (60)

9. Guinea (60)

10. Mali (60)

Which countries’ life expectancy is growing faster than the UK’s?

All G7 countries except for the US are growing faster than the UK: France, Italy, Germany, Canada, and Japan.

The research found that in 2020, Japan was third in the world for life expectancy while Italy was 16th. France was 20th, Canada was 22nd, and Germany was 29th.

Meanwhile, the UK was 36th and the US was 53rd.

How does life expectancy affect pension age?

Longer life expectancies are linked to pension age.

The OECD reports that by 2050, pension ages are expected to increase by 2.5 years for men and four years for women.

However, life expectancy is projected to grow faster than the pension age increases.