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Life Expectancy Hits New High -
U.S. Life Expectancy Ranks 26th In The World - 2011
U.S. Life Expectancy Ranks 26th In The World,
OECD Report Shows
U.S. expectancy in 2011 was 78.7 years, which is slightly below the OECD average of 80.1. For U.S. men, the average life expectancy is 76, while it's 81 for U.S. women. (At five years, this gap in life expectancy between men and women is smaller than the OECD average of six years).
The U.S. life expectancy comes in just behind Slovenia, at 80.1 years, and Denmark, at 79.9 years. Comparatively, life expectancy is 81.1 years in the United Kingdom and 82.8 years in Switzerland (the country that came in first in the ranking). The Russian Federation came in last, with a life expectancy of 69.8 years.
In the 1960, the U.S. average life expectancy was 1.5 years above the OECD average.
While this doesn't mean that life expectancy is decreasing in the United States -- The Washington Post pointed out that life expectancy is eight years longer now than it was in 1970 -- growth in life expectancy is not as fast as in other countries.
"In the United States, life expectancy at birth increased by almost nine years between 1960 and 2011, but this is less than the increase of over 15 years in Japan and over 11 years on average in OECD countries," according to the OECD.
The report also points out that the obesity rate in the United States is the highest among all OECD countries, at 36.5 percent in 2011 (it was 15 percent in 1978). In other countries, the average obesity rate was 22.8 percent in 2011.
Even though the United States doesn't have the highest life expectancy among the OECD nations, it does have the highest share of health spending. Health costs made up 17.7 percent of the U.S. GDP in 2011, compared with the OECD average of 9.3 percent. And the U.S. spent $8,508 per capita on health that year, compared with $3,339 on average for all OECD nations.
You can check out the full OECD report here.
Life Expectancy Hits New High - 2005
But America's lengthier life span still lags behind life expectancy in dozens of countries, according to World Health Organization statistics.
A baby born in the U.S. in 2005 has a life expectancy of 77.9 years. That's an extra tenth of a year, compared to life expectancy in 2004, according to the CDC's life expectancy statistics.
The CDC also reports that the top three causes of death -- heart disease, cancer, and stroke -- declined in 2005, compared with 2004, leading to greater life expectancy. However, heart disease, cancer, and stroke remain the country's top killers.
The life expectancy statistics are based on the CDC's preliminary data on more than 2.4 million deaths nationwide in 2005.
Life Expectancy Details
Life expectancy continues to be greater for women than for men and for whites compared with African-Americans -- but life expectancy edged up enough to reach a record high for African-Americans.
Here are the life expectancies for girls and boys born in 2005:
However, 26 countries have higher life expectancies for both men and women, according to the World Health Organization.
Japan has the world's greatest life expectancy for women (86 years) and the European republic of San Marino has the world's greatest life expectancy for men (80 years), according to the World Health Organization.
The top 15 causes of death for 2005
In 2005, heart disease killed 210.3 per 100,000 people, down from 217 per 100,000 in 2004.
Cancer deaths dropped from 185.8 per 100,000 people in 2004 to 183.8 per 100,000 in 2005. Stroke killed 50 per 100,000 people in 2004, compared with 46.6 per 100,000 in 2005.
Top Causes of Infant Death
The infant mortality rate for 2005 was 6.89 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. That's up from 6.79 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004, but that difference may have been due to chance, notes the CDC.
Once again, there was a race gap in the infant mortality rate (which includes deaths within the first year after birth).
For whites, the infant mortality rate was 5.76 infant deaths per 1,000 live births (up from 5.66 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004). For African-Americans, the infant mortality rate was 13.69 infant deaths per 1,000 live births (down from 13.79 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004).
The top 10 causes of infant mortality for 2005 are as follows:
The life expectancy and death statistics are posted on the CDC's
Source: By Miranda Hitti, www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20070912/living-longer-life-expectancy-hits-new-high?ecd=wnl_art_092307