Babies born in the UK today have a greater life
expectancy than ever before, with boys likely to live to 77
while girls can expect to reach 82.
Both sexes have seen life expectancy increase by four years over
the last 17 years, according to the latest figures from the
World Health Organisation.
In 1990, a boy born in Britain would expect to live to 73 while
a female would reach 78.
The increase is in line with other European nations such as
France and Germany which have seen similar improvements.
But it is women in Japan who have the world's longest life
expectancy at 86.
Men fare best in the tiny nation of San Marino, in the Apennine
mountains of Italy, where a boy born today should live to 81.
The figures contrast sharply with results for the West African
country of Sierra Leone, which has the world's shortest life
expectancy for men at 39.
Other African countries have registered steep declines since
1990, most notably Zimbabwe where Robert Mugabe's regime has
been blamed for ruining the country.
Zimbabwean men live to 45 on average, down from 57 in
1990, while the life expectancy of women in the country fell by 19 years to
However the latest figures show dramatic improvements in many other African
countries once ravaged by disease or war.
Greater access to medicine to treat diseases such as malaria is seen as one
of the main factors for the improved life expectancy.
For example Eritrean men increased their average life span by 33 years to
61, and women went up by 12 years to 65.
In Liberia, the figure for men jumped 29 years to 54, and rose 13 years to
58 for women.
In Europe, men in Russia have the lowest life expectancy, at 60, with
alcoholism blamed for many early deaths.
However, life expectancy for men in France is up four years since 1990 to
77, while women have risen to 84.
Italian men may now expect to live to 79, up from 74 in 1990, and women have
a life expectancy of 84.
There was a five-year increase in Germany for men to 77 while women should
In Australia, men have a life expectancy of 79, an increase of five years
since 1990, while women are expected to live to 84.
American women have one of the smallest increases, from 79 in 1990 to 81 in
2007. Men are up to 76 from 72.
Some of the lowest figures were recorded by the WHO in war-ravaged
Men live on average to 41 while women survive on average one year longer.
Source : Daily Mail