Which countries have the highest and lowest life expectancy?

Recent research has shown that life expectancy in the UK has grown at a slower rate than other G7 countries, excluding the US.

According to findings published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the UK is falling behind similar countries due to widening inequality.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that the UK is the second most economically unequal country in Europe after Bulgaria.

Figures from other countries around the world regarding ageing populations and life expectancies put the UK’s slowing life expectancy into context. In Japan, for instance, it was recently revealed that 29 per cent of the population is over the age of 65, which is the highest figure in the world - the country also boasts one of the highest life expectancies.

This compares to 24.5 per cent of the population being over the age of 65 in Italy, and 23.6 per cent in Finland.

However, these demographic changes also bring their own economic problems. Japan has a shrinking birth rate as well as an ageing population, which has led Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to warn that the country is “on the brink of not being able to maintain social functions”.

But which countries have the highest and lowest life expectancy numbers?

Which countries have the highest life expectancy?

Monaco has the highest life expectancy in the world in 2023, according to World Population Review, where locals live to an average age of 87.

Asian countries in the top 10 include Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, while European countries that made the list include Switzerland and Italy.

1. Monaco (87)

2. Hong Kong (85)

3. Macau (85)

4. Japan (84)

5. Liechtenstein (84)

6. Switzerland (84)

7. Singapore

8. Italy (84)

9. Vatican City (84)

10. South Korea (84)

Which countries have the lowest life expectancy?

According to World Population Review, these countries have the lowest life expectancy.

1. Chad (54)

2. Nigeria (54)

3. Lesotho (55)

4. Central African Republic (55)

5. South Sudan (57)

6. Somalia (57)

7. Eswatini (58)

8. Namibia (60)

9. Guinea (60)

10. Mali (60)

Which countries’ life expectancy is growing faster than the UK’s?

All G7 countries except for the US are growing faster than the UK: France, Italy, Germany, Canada, and Japan.

The research found that in 2020, Japan was third in the world for life expectancy while Italy was 16th. France was 20th, Canada was 22nd, and Germany was 29th.

Meanwhile, the UK was 36th and the US was 53rd.

How does life expectancy affect pension age?

Longer life expectancies are linked to pension age.

The OECD reports that by 2050, pension ages are expected to increase by 2.5 years for men and four years for women.

However, life expectancy is projected to grow faster than the pension age increases.