Americans' life expectancy lags behind

Updated: 2007-08-14 06:54

Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries and regions.

For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries and regions improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles.

Countries and regions that surpass the US include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Andorra had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau.

The shortest life expectancies were clustered in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that has been hit hard by an epidemic of HIV and AIDS, as well as famine and civil strife.


(China Daily 08/14/2007 page9)