Sunday, May 19, 2024

Longer Life, Healthier Life?


The average human being is living longer than ever before. Nearly every country on the planet has seen an increase in life expectancy since the beginning of the 21st century.

But though we are living longer, not all of us are living healthier.

Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE), or healthy life expectancy, is a metric used by the World Health Organization to measure the number of years a person can expect to live in good health, taking social and economic factors into account alongside disease and disability rates.

When we deduct healthy life expectancy from actual life expectancy, we see the average amount of years someone can expect to live in bad health – or ‘Bad Health Years‘.

This infographic takes a country-by-country look at the change in bad health years since 2000 to see where people are living a longer, healthier life.


Despite having some of the highest life expectancy in the world, the people of Europe live the most years in bad health. The majority of European nations have become even more unhealthy since 2000.


It is in Africa where the biggest reductions in bad health years have occurred, with great progress in health and development since the turn of the century.

Middle East and Asia

While bad health years in most nations in the Middle East have increased since 2000, outcomes across the rest of Asia are slightly better.

South East Asia and Oceania

Indonesia and the South-East Asian nations are getting healthier, but in Australia and New Zealand bad health years are on the rise.

North and Central America

Mixed outcomes in North and Central America reflect the diverse range of economic and social conditions across the region, with the United States seeing one of the biggest increases in bad health years in the world. ”

South America

Similarly, South America displays a varied set of outcomes. Nations like Bolivia and Ecuador, traditionally considered to be among the continent’s least developed, have achieved the biggest reduction in bad health years.

Life Expectancy changes since 2000

Besides Bad Health Years, we also made some interesting findings regarding life expectancy.

The Price of Conflict

Only two nations did not register an improvement in life expectancy: Iraq and Syria.

Life expectancy in Iraq stagnated, while in Syria it has decreased by 3 years.


Healthier, longer lives

A number of countries have witnessed a startling increase in life expectancy since the year 2000. The top 10 can all be found in Africa.



  1. On the last map those nations with biggest increase in life expectancy is only because they had a low base to start with.
    Another pointer is map#3 which shows Kenya,Namibia and South Africa still have fewer bad health years than Zambia.

    • No. HIV/AIDS and high infant and maternal mortality rates were the causes of low life expectancy. All these are being defeated but slowly. Without bringing politics into these disasters, we should thank God that lives are being saved.

  2. Good afternoon morning and evening to all Zambians around the world. I would like to confirm that we are relieved that we have not lost any lives from our upnd team in London following the terrorist attacks in Westminster yesterday . We are also glad that no Zambian lives have been lost. It is sad that the pf government in conjunction with their cadre high commission in London have not issued a statement as we have many Zambian economic refugees in UK who have been forced there due to pf failures. Rip to the four that have lost their lives. Meanwhile here in Zambia we have low life expectancy due to greedy incompetent government like pf who have led to the demise of efficient medical services through theft.

    Chief strategist of the upnd

  3. These are clear indications that there hope for the future, especially in Zambia! We should thank God for that- NOT the politicians!!!

  4. These are clear indications that there is hope for the future, especially in Zambia! We should thank God for that- NOT the politicians!!!

  5. “The average human being is living longer than ever before.” No No No No! The Bible tells us they used to live 700 years those guys like Abraham, Isaac, adam, Moses, etcetera.
    In a Christian nation you cannot ignore these statistics from the Bible when you report on such stories. Lungu should fire these LT reporters

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