Japan Loses Top Spot in Life Expectancy

Women from Hong Kong now the longest lived
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2012 7:01 PM CDT
Japan Loses Top Spot in Life Expectancy
Women from Hong Kong have, on average, more time than the rest of us.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Japanese women are no longer the world's longest living, their longevity pushed down in part by last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami, according to a government report today. The top of the global life expectancy rankings now belongs to Hong Kong women. The annual report by Japan's health ministry said the expected lifespan for Japanese women slipped to 85.90 years in 2011 from 86.30 the year before, mainly due to disease and other natural causes of death. The life expectancy for men also declined slightly, from 79.55 to 79.44.

The report also noted that if not for last year's earthquake and tsunami, both figures would have been higher, at 86.24 years and 79.70 years respectively. But Hong Kong's women still would have won out, with an average life expectancy of 86.7 years. Officials said it was the first time since 1985 that Japan's women had ranked second. (Read more Japan stories.)

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